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“When the man was weighed, as in a Balance!” Assessment as Social Science

22 January 2013 — 22 January 2013 Leicester, University of

Assessment and the concept of fairness discussed at University of Leicester Inaugural Lecture on Tuesday 22 January

At his Professorial Inaugural Lecture, Professor Glenn Fulcher will discuss assessment as a social science and explore the use of assessments throughout history.

The lecture entitled ‘“When the man was weighed, as in a Balance!” Assessment as social science’, takes place on Tuesday 22 January at the University of Leicester and is free and open to the public.

The rituals surrounding the practice of assessments appear to be universal, spanning history and cultures. Access to education and employment is regulated by performance in examinations. Its purpose is to provide evidence to assist in making decisions that change people’s lives.

Professor Fulcher will also investigate whether assessment as a social machine is dependent on conditions or occurrences, or in some way fundamental to the concept of “fairness”, which is not bound by contexts.

Professor Fulcher, who is Professor of Education and Language Assessment in the University’s School of Education, said: “Assessment is the engine of meritocracy. Abolish testing, and all we have left is the feudal system of patronage."

Professor Fulcher runs the most visited assessment website on language testing, and his books are among the most widely used for teaching language assessment. He also edits the premier journal in the field: Language Testing from SAGE.

He also engages in consultancy for examination boards that produce English tests for international students, and he is currently working on projects for TOEFL and the Pearson Test of Academic English.

His Inaugural Lecture will take place on Tuesday 22 January at 5.30pm in the Ken Edwards Building, Lecture Theatre 1, University of Leicester.

All inaugural lectures are open to the public and are free. Anyone wishing to attend a lecture, whether student, staff or public, should contact

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