Handbook of International Development and Education
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Handbook of International Development and Education

Edited by Pauline Dixon, Steve Humble and Chris Counihan

This Handbook considers the myths and untruths that currently exist in international development and education. Using historic and contemporary evidence, this compendium redefines the international development narrative through a new understanding of 'what works', drawn from pragmatic ideas and approaches.
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Chapter 17: Baseline assessment in an international context

David Hawker


Despite the growing influence of international surveys of student achievement such as PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), TIMSS (The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) and PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study), there is currently no international baseline study of children’s development on starting school. This chapter argues the case for such an international baseline assessment, using research evidence gathered over nearly 20 years from a range of countries where the Performance Indicators in Primary Schools (PIPS) On-entry Baseline assessment developed by the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) at Durham University (UK) has been used. It also reports on preparations which got underway in 2014 for the proposed international PIPS study – iPIPS. The chapter is in three sections. The first section deals with the history of baseline assessment in the UK and the development of the PIPS monitoring system. The second section summarises findings from the various research projects carried out in the UK and elsewhere which have used PIPS. The third section sets out the rationale for an international baseline assessment study and describes the current preparations for iPIPS.

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