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Chong, Wan Har
Formative assessment is important in classrooms because it yields information to teachers about the adjustments and modifications they need to make to foster student learning. However, the successful implementation of formative assessment in the classroom depends on the teachers’ abilities to implement it well. Skill acquisition is one way to increase self-confidence in formative assessment, as long as the individual has positive beliefs about applying the skills to attain the required outcomes, but skills alone might not be sufficient in bringing about change and adoption of new practices. In particular, self-efficacy beliefs play a critical role in helping an individual effect change and attain desired outcomes. Self-efficacy beliefs describe the teachers’ cognitive perceptions of their competence in formative assessment. The strength of the teacher’s conviction in his/her own ability to affect the desired outcome will influence the will to cope with given situations. Self-efficacy beliefs are important as the driver of behaviour, as people tend to engage in tasks that they feel competent in and avoid those that they lack confidence in doing. Self-efficacy is formed through a long process of selection and reflective interpretation of enactive, vicarious, persuasive, and physiological events.
This study brings together two bodies of knowledge, important to both teaching and learning, to provide a better understanding of how self-efficacy relates to the utility of formative assessment practices. The aims of this study are threefold: firstly, to develop three scales for use in a survey in this study: a scale for the sources of self-efficacy beliefs, a scale for the level of self-efficacy beliefs in formative assessment, and a scale for teachers’ formative assessment practices in the classroom; secondly, to investigate the sources of self-efficacy in formative assessment for teachers and their relative importance; and thirdly, to elucidate the relationships between teacher demographic factors and their self-efficacy beliefs. A mixed methods approach was used in this study. First, interviews were conducted with teachers to gather information on teachers’ formative assessment practices in the classroom and teachers’ sources of self-efficacy beliefs in formative assessment, which served to inform scale construction. Thereafter, quantitative approach was used in this study as a survey was carried out with primary and secondary school teachers in Singapore, and a total of 359 responses were obtained.
Three scales were developed and validated in this study. Additionally, results showed that: (1) teachers relied heavily on mastery experiences as their most influential source of self-efficacy, with the exception of carrying out more difficult formative assessment tasks where social persuasion emerged as the key influence; (2) teachers with formal training in formative assessment were more likely to have higher levels of self-efficacy, carry out formative assessment practices in the classroom and also more likely to hold positive perceptions of the use of formative assessment; and (3) teachers’ years of teaching experience was found to contribute to differences in their levels of self-efficacy beliefs to carry out more difficult formative assessment tasks and social persuasion as a source of self-efficacy. Implications for research and teacher professional development in the areas of self-efficacy and formative assessment are discussed in the light of these findings.
|Appears in Collections:||Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)|
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checked on Jan 24, 2021
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