Kellaghan, Thomas

Profile Picture
Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
National assessment, Public examinations, Teacher education, Home-school relationships
Externally Hosted Work
Contact Information
Last updated January 31, 2023
Thomas Kellaghan was director of the Educational Research Centre at St. Patrick’s College, Dublin, and is a fellow of the International Academy of Education. He has worked at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria and at Queen’s University, Belfast. His areas of research interest included national assessment, public examinations, educational disadvantage, teacher education, and home-school relationships. He served as president of the International Association for Educational Assessment from 1997 to 2001. He has worked on assessment issues in Africa, South and East Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
  • Thumbnail Image
    Assessing Student Learning in Africa
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2004) Kellaghan, Thomas ; Greaney, Vincent
    This paper reviews what has happened in the field of assessment since then. It deals with public examinations, but differs from the 1992 report in that, other than in regard to a few minor details, no new data were specifically collected for it. The paper revisits many of the issues that were raised in the earlier report, particularly in relation to the role that assessment can play in improving the quality of students' learning. It also differs from the earlier report in that its consideration of assessment is not limited to public examinations. The World Declaration on Education for All in Jomtien in 1990 not only gave fresh impetus to issues relating to assessment, but also necessitated the introduction of a new form of assessment-system assessment, or national assessment-to determine if children were acquiring the useful knowledge, reasoning ability, skills, and values that schools promised to deliver. National assessment is the second major area of assessment addressed in this paper. International assessments, which share many procedural features with national assessment, are also considered. The fourth type of assessment addressed in the paper is classroom assessment.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Public Examinations Examined
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2019-10-29) Kellaghan, Thomas ; Greaney, Vincent
    This book addresses current issues related to the development, administration, scoring and usage of public examinations. High-stakes public examinations exert a dominant influence on education systems in Asia, Africa, Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. They tend to have a major influence on teacher and student behavior, especially at the middle and upper levels of secondary education. The content of past examination papers tends to dictate what is taught and how it is taught and, more important, what is learned and how it is learned. This volume identifies key issues and problems related to examinations in a large number of emerging economies as well as in a number of OECD countries. Examination agencies, many of which have followed the same procedures over decades, can learn from the successes and failures of other systems. By changing aspects of these examinations, especially their content and format, education systems can have a strong positive impact on teacher and student learning, help raise student achievement levels, and better prepare students for tertiary-level education and for employment. The primary target audience for the book is public examination officials in national, regional, and state examination boards. The book should also be of interest to senior educational policy makers concerned with certification and learning achievement standards, for governmental and tertiary agencies responsible for student selection, and for professionals at development agencies.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Using the Results of a National Assessment of Educational Achievement
    (World Bank, 2009) Kellaghan, Thomas ; Greaney, Vincent ; Murray, T. Scott
    This book, the fifth and final volume of the National Assessments of Educational Achievement series, draws on the experiences of over forty countries that have implemented a national assessment. It considers the role of contextual factors which impinge on the use of assessment findings. The attachment of sanctions to performance on a national assessment and use of assessment results for accountability are discussed. Key components of a national assessment report are specified . Other instruments to communicate findings are described. Uses of national assessment findings for policy, management, teaching, and raising public awareness are described. A number of ways in which the use and value of national assessments could be optimized are proposed. This volume is intended primarily for teams who are responsible for conducting national assessments and policy makers responsible for the dissemination and use of national assessment results.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Assessing National Achievement Levels in Education
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2008) Greaney, Vincent ; Kellaghan, Thomas
    This introductory book describes the main features of national and international assessments, both of which became extremely popular tools for determining the quality of education in the 1990s and 2000s. This increase in popularity reflects two important developments. First, it reflects increasing globalization and interest in global mandates, including Education for All (UNESCO 2000). Second, it represents an overall shift in emphasis in assessing the quality of education from a concern with inputs (such as student participation rates, physical facilities, curriculum materials, and teacher training) to a concern with outcomes. This emphasis on outcomes can, in turn, be considered an expression of concern with the development of human capital in the belief (a) that knowledge is replacing raw materials and labor as resources in economic development and (b) that the availability of human knowledge and skills is critical in determining a country's rate of economic development and its competitiveness in an international market. The purposes and main features of national assessments are described in chapter 2. The reasons for carrying out a national assessment are considered in chapter 3, and the main decisions that have to be made in the design and planning of an assessment are covered in chapter 4. Issues (as well as common errors) to be borne in mind in the design, implementation, analysis, reporting, and use of a national assessment are identified in chapter 5. In chapter 6, international assessments of student achievement, which share many procedural features with national assessments (such as sampling, administration, background data collected, and methods of analysis), are described.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Implementing a National Assessment of Educational Achievement
    (World Bank, 2012-02-10) Greaney, Vincent ; Kellaghan, Thomas ; Greaney, Vincent ; Kellaghan, Thomas
    This third volume in the five-part National Assessments of Educational Achievement series, focuses on practical issues in the implementation of a national assessment. These include the representation of key educational stakeholders, required personnel and facilities, and the sequence of administrative activities in implementing an assessment. Particular attention is focused on sampling, such as defining the population to be assessed, elements of sampling theory, and the selection of schools and students to take part in an assessment. Readers are guided through the selection of a sample by working on a set of concrete tasks presented in the text, using data files in an accompanying CD. One section of Volume 3 is devoted to typical tasks involved in preparing, validating and managing data. Users are expected to develop competence in data preparation skills by carrying out the practical exercises in the CD. They are also shown how to complete important pre-analysis steps such as compute survey weights, calculate means and their sampling errors, and how to deal with non-responses and oversize and undersize schools. This volume is intended primarily for teams who are responsible for conducting national assessments and graduate students interested in technical aspects of large-scale surveys.