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Chapter 7 - Key Episodes in The History of Testing in Central Western Europe

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 July 2022

Sumaya Laher
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
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The western part of Europe has played a pivotal role in the early development of modern testing starting with the work of scholars like Alfred Binet, William Stern, and Hugo Münsterberg in the early 1900s. However, most of the experts were driven out of the country by the Nazis and the Wehrmacht psychologists who largely replaced them favored non-psychometric methods. In the more recent history after World War II, there were several successful psychometric testing programs. While the Netherlands have embraced psychometric testing since the 1950s and widely apply it in education, testing and especially psychometric methods have traditionally been less frequently used to make important decisions in Germany, France, and Belgium. A recent trend is the increasing use of testing and assessment for quality control in education especially in the Netherlands and Germany. Another more recent trend is a shift of higher education to a global level which creates a new need to assess foreign applicants for Western European institutions. This chapter focuses on the development of modern testing in the Dutch, German, and French-speaking parts of Europe (France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, most parts of Switzerland, Austria, and the South Tirol region of Italy).

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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