Making a change to teachers’ readiness of using Assessment for Learning for classroom teaching

Making a change to teachers’ readiness of using Assessment for Learning for classroom teaching

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Making a change to teachers’ readiness of using Assessment for Learning for classroom teaching

Black and Wiliam (1998) and the Assessment Reform Group (1999) point out that if teachers are to raise the quality of students’, learning, they should take Assessment for Learning (AfL) as an essential component of classroom work. However, standards can be raised only if teachers are willing and are able to tackle AfL. Exploration into teachers’, readiness for the new assessment concept indicated that teachers were generally unprepared for AfL. This paper presents an attempt to make a change to theassessment practices in the classroom. The investigation, supported by Quality Education Fund, was conducted in Hong Kong where teaching and learning is deeply influenced by the examination culture (Berry, 2010a in press). This one-year study involved twenty-seven teachers from eight primary schools in Hong Kong. After first being introduced to AfL concepts through a number of seminars and workshops, the teachers tried out some AfL ideas of their choice in their classroom teaching. In their regular teacher community meetings, the teachers shared their experiences and discussed how the AfL practices could be improved. Using lesson observation, document analysis, interviewing and teacher self reflections as the main research instruments, it was found that teachers were more aware of the usefulness of AfL and were more able to use AfL for classroom teaching. There were signs of changes in their classroom assessment practices. Cases will be selected to illustrate the kinds of ,changes identified in individual teachers.

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