TEACHER’S ENACTED CURRICULUM: UNDERSTANDING TEACHER BELIEFS AND PRACTICES OF CLASSROOM ASSESSMENT

TEACHER’S ENACTED CURRICULUM: UNDERSTANDING TEACHER BELIEFS AND PRACTICES OF CLASSROOM ASSESSMENT

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TEACHER’S ENACTED CURRICULUM: UNDERSTANDING TEACHER BELIEFS AND PRACTICES OF CLASSROOM ASSESSMENT

This paper examines the relationship between teacher conceptions of assessment and the curriculum content and cognitive demand of their classroom assessment practices, working from the assumption that what is assessed should reflect the teacher’,s understanding of assessment. In this exploratory study, a volunteer sample of New Zealand teachers (n=9) provided 32 selfselected samples of assessments they used in the subject English and indicated their purposes and ,uses as well as their conceptions of assessment. Each assessment was rated for its content andcognitive demand using the American Surveys of Enacted Curriculum (SEC) project taxonomy.There were no statistically significant relationships between teacher beliefs about assessment and their enacted practices. The study found that in the main, the assessments required low levels of cognitive demand, focusing on memory, recall, explaining, and following procedures rather than analysis and evaluation. Curriculum and cognitive demand in the assessments varied considerably between teachers. This paper suggests that the SEC taxonomy also needs revisions if it is to be used effectively to code teacher-made assessments, especially those underpinned by the principlesof Assessment for Learning.

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