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Examinations and the upper secondary curricula in selected anglophone and francophone West African countries

Addison, John Fox (1990) Examinations and the upper secondary curricula in selected anglophone and francophone West African countries. PhD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.

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ABSTRACT This research project began as a study of the content and comparability of curricula and examinations in selected Anglophone and Francophone West African countries. From this initial plan the main research question emerged. This was to assess the potential value of examinations for initiating and implementing curriculum reform. An analysis of the functions and uses of examinations, followed by an historical sketch of the establishment in Africa of Western style education systems provides a base for the study. The comparative analysis of the curricula and examinations of the two systems is carried out in the context of Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone. Attempts to introduce changes in the curriculum and examinations and to draw up comprehensive national plans for educational reform after Independence are outlined against the background of educational thinking in Africa generally as this is reflected in Regional Education Conferences. Some recent research into the impact of examinations on the teaching and learning process; and recent examples from outside Africa of curriculum and examination reform are reviewed before conclusions and implications for policy are considered. The importance of studying examinations in the broad context of education systems as a whole is emphasised throughout. After summarising the main findings, the study concludes that improvement could result from a combination of the best features of the two education systems in West Africa. To this end, joint discussions might be held to identify strengths and weaknesses. This could lead to mutual 'borrowing'. The examination scene in West Africa has remained relatively unchanged since Independence. Countries in the region should benefit from a reappraisal of their examination systems in the light of reforms carried out elsewhere and of their own perceived needs for curriculum reform. 'Good' examinations, those whose objectives and performance criteria are compatible with the aims of the curriculum, can and should be used as effective instruments of curriculum reform and as a means of raising educational standards. In this context, examination boards/with the expertise of their professional staff supplemented by that of a range of consultants/might be used as coordinating agencies for curriculum development in the broadest sense.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (10)
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2013 15:44
Last Modified: 27 May 2015 10:13
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