From Knowledge Standards to Expected Outcomes – and Back? Damijan Štefanc
Summary: This article addresses several questions related to knowledge assessment, which became particularly relevant in Slovenia at the time of the curriculum reform between 2006 and 2008. The crucial issue concerns understanding the importance and role of knowledge standards specified in national curriculum documents. The author shows that during the curriculum reform in the mid – 1990s, knowledge standards were conceived as objectively verifiable and operational educational goals. As such, they were included in the 1998 syllabuses, thereby becoming the basis for a valid, reliable, and objective – as well as just – assessment of students’ knowledge. During the process of the curriculum reform between 2006 and 2008, the concept of knowledge standards attracted professional criticism, with its core in the supposition that the concept is inadequate in developing key competences, on which the reformed syllabuses were to be based. Consequently, knowledge standards were removed from the syllabuses and replaced by expected outcomes, which were supposed to encourage the implementation of key competences in primary school education more effectively than knowledge standards had done.