Abstract and Keywords
In an ideal world, assessment should be synonymous with effective learning and reflect the intricacies of the subject area. It should also be aligned with the ideals of education: to provide equitable opportunities for all students to achieve and to allow both appropriate differentiation for varied contexts and students and comparability across various contexts and students. This challenge is made more difficult in circumstances in which the contexts are highly heterogeneous, for example in the state of Queensland, Australia. Assessment in music challenges schooling systems in unique ways because teaching and learning in music are often naturally differentiated and diverse, yet assessment often calls for standardization. While each student and teacher has individual, evolving musical pathways in life, the syllabus and the system require consistency and uniformity. The challenge, then, is to provide diverse, equitable, and quality opportunities for all children to learn and achieve to the best of their abilities. This chapter discusses the designing and implementation of large-scale curriculum as experienced in secondary schools in Queensland, Australia. The experiences detailed explore the possibilities offered through externally moderated school-based assessment. Also discussed is the centrality of system-level clarity of purpose, principles and processes, and the provision of supportive networks and mechanisms to foster autonomy for a diverse range of music educators and contexts. Implications for education systems that desire diversity, equity, and quality are discussed, and the conclusion provokes further conceptualization and action on behalf of students, teachers, and the subject area of music.
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