New Perspectives for Learning - Briefing Paper 9

Assessment, Effectiveness and Innovation

Context of the Research

Research work on standardised and empirically based assessment of educational achievement in Europe has been limited compared to the USA. Yet, in most European countries educational assessment of student achievement is common practice. However, it is less than a decade ago that large-scale costly operations for getting benchmark data on educational progress could be justified.

In recent years many policy makers have been looking for statistical facts as a basis for sound communication between educational partners and for educational policy-making.

A "European Network for Education Research on Assessment Effectiveness and Innovation" (EU-AEI) was established in 1996 as a result of calls, like that of the European Roundtable of Industrialists, which in 1995 stated: -

"It has become a matter of urgency to set up a European Education Information and Monitoring System in order to record experience, evaluate results and improve the quality of education on a European level."

The EU-AEI network’s mission was: -

  1. To carry out international comparative research in education in the domain of achievement, assessment, effectiveness and innovation within Europe.

  2. The collection and analysis of both outcome-oriented data at the level of individual students, and educational background conditions at the level of students, teachers, classroom arrangements, curricula, school management and organisation, and system parameters at the regional and national level (including specific educational policies).

  3. To ask questions about the micro-, meso- and macro-level conditions that enhance educational performance and about the potential for educational change and innovation.

Key Results

The Network produced: -

  1. An Inventory of National Education Assessment Databases.

  2. A conceptual framework with a basic categorisation for accessing the statistical overview, the assessment data sets and published results.

  3. A web site containing 136 comparative statistics for the EU-countries, Japan and the USA, under the categories:-

    1. School characteristics (4).

    2. Teacher characteristics (18).

    3. Student characteristics (17).

    4. Instructional processes (39).

    5. Student attitudes (22).

    6. Student achievement (36).

These statistics are available for primary and lower secondary schools.

Unfortunately the Network is no longer in existence but the results of its work can be found on its web site at: -

Further Information

The full title of the project and final report is: "European Network for Education Research on Assessment Effectiveness and Innovation." (May 1998)

Full report, Abstract, Summary Partner details

Contact Person

Dr. Willem J. Pelgrum
Universiteit Twente
Centre for Applied Research on Education
7522 NB
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 53 89 35 93
Fax: +31 53 31 50 99


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Last updated 28 June 2007