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Assessment for learning: Understanding teachers’ beliefs and practices
Assessment for learning
Teachers' beliefs
Formative assessment practices
21st century competencies
Student learning
Issue Date: 
Paper presented at the 36th Annual Conference of the International Association of Educational Assessment (IAEA) on “Assessment for the Future Generations”, Bangkok, Thailand, 20 – 27 August 2010
Assessment for learning in the day-to-day classroom instruction is critical in bringing about students’ mastery of 21st century competencies such as learning how to learn, thinking about own thinking and knowing how to plan, monitor and evaluate own thinking and understanding. However, teachers’
assessment practices are often influenced by their beliefs about student learning. This study aims to examine teachers’ beliefs about student learning and its relationship with their formative assessment practices. Two self-report questionnaires are developed to measure teachers’ beliefs about student
learning and their formative assessment practices, respectively. Our preliminary findings show that teachers who believe that students are active participants of learning and who acknowledge students’ need to evaluate and monitor their own understanding tend to use formative assessment practices such as questioning and eliciting evidences of understanding, formative feedback, peer-self assessment, and clarity of task and success criteria. Semi-structured interview data are used to further deepen our understanding of the various factors that underpin teachers’ beliefs about student learning and their
formative assessment practices. Three themes emerge from the interview data: teachers’ personal interest in developing student learning, belief about feedback and diagnosis of learning needs, and tensions between assessment of learning and assessment for learning.
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