Variation within individual teacher administrators during national monitoring assessment interviews in social studies.

Variation within individual teacher administrators during national monitoring assessment interviews in social studies.

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Variation within individual teacher administrators during national monitoring assessment interviews in social studies.

In New Zealand, the National Education Monitoring Project (NEMP) is responsible for the national assessment of primary school students’, achievement across the curriculum.Standardised tasks with associated interviews are one of the assessment approaches used to assess achievement. This paper addresses the reliability of one-to-one social studies interviews, in particular the variation within individual Teacher Administrators (TAs) during the 2005 round of monitoring. An observation schedule was used to gather data across ten categories as 12 randomly selected TAs carried out three administrations for each of three selected tasks. Levels of internal variation for each TA across these categories are presented along with categories where the greatest and least levels of internal variation were exhibited.It is suggested that singly and/or in combination, specific task related features and the way(s)in which each TA perceived and constructed their role affected the conduct of interviews. Overall, the levels of variation observed and the nature of the variations pose threats toreliability and ultimately to the validity of claims regarding students’, achievement. This is particularly concerning when the assessment information and related claims are used as the basis for reporting national patterns of educational achievement and making ,recommendations to stakeholders.

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