Public trust and high stakes assessment

Contemporary society seems to be characterised by a 'crisis of trust'. Opinion polls show a decline in trust in many public institutions and professions. Trust, and its drivers, has been studied in a variety of contexts, including the government, the police force, and the medical profession. To date, the extent to which this 'culture of suspicion' has permeated the area of assessment in the UK has not been assessed. Media are thought to fuel and feed-off distrust. Given the increasing scrutiny of examinations and examination standards by the British press, it seems likely that public trust in assessment outputs may have undergone changes. This paper draws upon theoretical work on the meaning of trust and empirical studies into trust in public institutions to suggest possible avenues for future research in trust and assessment

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