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date: 18 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The assessment of music learning in schools is an ongoing focus for music teachers, researchers, policymakers, leaders, and other interested constituents to varying degrees. The contexts within which the assessment of music learning take place are as varied as the historical, cultural, political, philosophical, and educational environments from which they arise. This chapter identifies common conditions that affect the assessment of music learning in schools across the world—opportunity to learn, standards, curriculum, philosophy, and accountability and high-stakes testing. From this arises a discussion of the qualities of well-designed music learning assessments, including reliability, validity and threats to validity, the application of reliability and validity to teacher-made assessments, and the application of consensual assessment and consensus moderation assessment approaches. Next, the chapter presents and rationalizes eight international principles for assessment in music education. The chapter closes with a discussion of the state of the art of assessment in music education, and the challenges encountered with the application of assessment models that are misaligned with the unique nature of music learning.

Keywords: assessment, music learning, principles, validity, reliability, opportunity to learn, philosophy, standards, curriculum, accountability

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