The Culture of Testing: Sociocultural Impacts on Learning in Asia and the Pacific

28 June 2018

In many countries in Asia and the Pacific, high-stakes examinations are the means of determining ones future: either graduation from schools and getting certificates or access to higher education and greater life opportunities.

Students are being educated in a world that is highly competitive, stressful and test-focused, while the pressure to obtain high scores in tests and exams can come at the expense of other relevant skills needed to navigate in an increasingly complex world. The extra focus on high-stakes exams may jeopardize some fundamental aspects of education, which cannot be tested through examinations and leaves one to think on whether education systems are losing the initial objectives of learning. This is directly related to a phenomenon of culture of testing, where standardized examinations become common and raise high value of testing among key players in the area. This study, following on from UNESCOs 2015 Rethinking Education, and within the SDG4-Education 2030 backdrop, examines the social and cultural values of the quality of education. UNESCO Bangkok included nine country case studies in the Asia-Pacific region (Bangladesh, Fiji, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Philippines, Tonga and Viet Nam) in the Report by showcasing the relationship between society, culture and the values that are placed on examinations and academic success and what drives societies to rely on tests as a measure of success.

Download PDF: The Culture of Testing: Sociocultural Impacts on Learning in Asia and the Pacific

Bangkok: UNESCO Bangkok, 2018, 147p.

ISBN 978-92-9223-591-8 (Print version)
ISBN 978-92-9223-592-5 (Electronic version)
Culture of Testing
Quality of Education

Publication date
Apr 12, 2018
education transforms lives

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