THE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF EXAMINATIONS - the case of 'A' level Sociology
What follows is based largely on our interpretations of ourselves as teachers of sociology. We hope, however, that our reliance on material generated out of teaching sociology has wider implications. In what follows, although we constantly address ourselves to sociology classes we are actually talking about the nature of the examination process itself. We feel that much of what we say about Sociology is applicable to History, Economics, Government and Politics, for example. We do not feel that sociology is unique in any sense when it comes to the relationship between what a subject is, in a philosophical sense, and how it is examined, in a practical sense. However, as sociology teachers our concern is with the teaching of sociology and how having to teach students to pass examinations might so constrain teachers that rather than teaching students to understand the complexity of competing issues which makes up sociology, teachers end up teaching facts about sociologists.