Increasing reliance upon examinations in school and university systems has tended to put pressure on teachers to orient their lessons to expected tests rather than to exploration of the subject or to the students' mental and creative development. The strain imposed on teachers, pupils and parents may be such as to constitute a risk to mental health. Such tests may occur at a psychologically vulnerable period of life, aside from stress caused by the social stigma attached to failure. Examinations establish in the individual a state of mind, behaviour and habits which are the negation of the aims of education. Where promotion is in large part dependent upon examination success, the examination procedures have a restrictive effect on transfer between grades. Marks, whether they be obtained from teacher-set examinations or from standardized tests, are expressions of relative value. At their worst, they are expressions of inconsistent, subjective judgments by teachers on the basis of unreliable, written examinations of unknown validity. At their best they leave absolute judgments (as to what shall constitute a pass level) to be stated in terms of the proportion of children who shall be allowed to continue to the next grade. In neither case do they recognize the continuity of learning, which is not divisible into discrete and convenient administrative packages. Thus, examinations may also be accused of being irrelevant, not so much by their nature as in their conventional use.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
The initial content for the Encyclopedia was seeded from UIA’s Yearbook of International Organizations. UIA’s decades of collected data on the enormous variety of association life provided a broad initial perspective on the myriad problems of humanity. Recognizing that international associations are generally confronting world problems and developing action strategies based on particular values, the initial content was based on the descriptions, aims, titles and profiles of international associations.
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