Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices of Classroom Assessment in Republic Polytechnic, Singapore

Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices of Classroom Assessment in Republic Polytechnic, Singapore

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Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices of Classroom Assessment in Republic Polytechnic, Singapore

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.Keywords: Assessment for learning, assessment of learning, belief-practice gap, classroom assessment, problem-based learning

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