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Title: Teachers’ beliefs and practices of classroom assessment in Republic Polytechnic, Singapore
Authors: Chew, Andrea Yen Ling
Lee, Iris Chai Hong
Keywords: Assessment for learning
Assessment of learning
Belief-practice gap
Classroom assessment
Problem-based learning
Issue Date: Oct-2013
Citation: Paper presented at the 39th Annual Conference of the International Association of Educational Assessment (IAEA) on “Educational Assessment 2.0: Technology in Educational Assessment”, Tel Aviv, Israel, 20 – 25 October 2013
Abstract: In the 21st century, learners will need a different set of life skills and competencies in order to be successful in life, and at the same time contribute positively to society at large. In equipping learners with the necessary skills and attitudes, teachers play a pivotal role. They are the gatekeepers of the curriculum (Eisner, 2002) and inevitably they transmit values in the course of their practices (Swaffield, 2008). In particular, teachers’ beliefs and practices of assessment can impact the way curriculum is enacted in the classroom. In this exploratory study, facilitators’ beliefs and practices of classroom assessment in Republic Polytechnic, Singapore, are investigated. A survey measuring facilitators’ beliefs and practices of classroom assessment across three assessment dimensions - making learning explicit, promoting learning autonomy and performance orientation - was administered to 148 facilitators from this institution (James, Black, McCormick, Pedder, & Wiliam, 2006). Subsequently, quantitative analysis (i.e., paired t-test, ANOVA, factor analysis and stepwise regression analysis) was used to gather information on the effects of facilitator-related characteristics and school contextual factors on classroom assessment practices. This study showed no significant gaps between facilitators’ beliefs and practices in two of the dimensions (i.e., making learning explicit and promoting learning autonomy). However, a significant gap exists for the dimension on performance orientation (i.e., preparing students for examinations). This study also revealed that support from school leadership, availability of assessment-related training and resources, and accountability to industry partners are important factors that impact facilitators’ classroom assessment practices. These findings highlight areas the institution can further explore to enhance student-centred assessment practices in the classroom and prepare students adequately for the challenges of the 21st century.
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