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From laissez-faire to standardized tests to holistic assessment: Efforts to infuse “authentic intellectual quality” into the Malay language assessment tasks in Singapore
Holistic assessment
Malay language assessments
Assessment reforms
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Paper presented at the 38th Annual Conference of the International Association of Educational Assessment (IAEA) on “Designing the assessment of learning outcomes to make positive impact on individuals and institutions”, Astana, Kazakhstan, 16 – 21 September 2012
Secular education in the form of Malay school was not introduced in Singapore until the coming of the British colonial in late 19th century. In the early years of its inception, teaching and learning, including assessments in Malay school very much replicated the practices of the long-prevailing religious schools or the madrasah. This paper traces the development of assessment practices of Malay school and in Malay language as a subject when Malay school was abolished in 1980s due partly to the growing importance of national schools in Singapore. With economic survival, industrialization, and globalization as the driving force for a series of educational restructuring throughout the life of the city-state, the assessment too, was driven by these factors and, hence, its continual reforms. While the narrative of assessment reforms of the Malay school and the Malay language forms the first part of this paper, the second part covers recent efforts to infuse “authentic intellectual quality” into teachers’ assessments tasks. The criteria of “authentic intellectual quality” will be presented.
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