‘Educationalists’ do not emerge from the womb fully formed. Like the learners they study, they are learners themselves. So, the invitation to select my ‘best’ works to show the development of my ideas over more than thirty years as a university researcher and academic – or over forty years if my ten years as a school teacher is added – faced me with a dilemma. As one matures, one tends to believe that ones’ best work comes later in a career, as the ideas are increasingly refined. Yet earlier work is important to show the germination of such ideas and initial struggles with them.

The problem of deciding criteria for such judgements of worth and choice is a familiar one in the field of assessment research and scholarship, and I deal ...

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