chapter  4
10 Pages

Problematising standards

Representation or performance?
ByRola Ajjawi, Margaret Bearman

In this chapter, we seek to problematise notions of standards within the assessment discourse, and particularly in relation to evaluative judgement. Standards in higher education are already the subject of some debate. We review the representational and sociocultural perspectives and then introduce an alternative, sociomaterial account. Our core argument is that a standard is neither a static representation of an absolute truth nor a subjective interpretation of a culturally generated artefact, but a dynamic and emergent ‘performance’. We then consider the implication of this view for assessment in general and evaluative judgement in particular.