ERIC Number: ED399266
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Perspectives on Assessment in Science: Voices from the Field.
Shepardson, Daniel P.; Adams, Paul E.
Few studies have investigated the knowledge and beliefs that undergrids science teachers' assessment practice. This study was conducted to investigate the perspectives of science teachers on classroom assessment, considering the constructs that inform teachers of their classroom assessment practice. The study was grounded in a socioconstructivist theory that posits that teachers construct their own understandings and beliefs within the contexts of their own school cultures. The 12 middle-level (grades 4 through 9) teachers studied were all from the Midwest and all participants in a National Science Foundation teacher enhancement project on laboratory instruction and alternative assessment. Interview data were collected through a self-questioning technique. These data suggested that teachers understood the purposes of assessment as means of evaluating student performance and informing pedagogy, although the latter purpose was mentioned by relatively few teachers. If teachers view assessment from these two perspectives, then their motivation for assessment is primarily based on the learner and is seen as aligned with instruction or is pedagogically motivated. Teachers will adopt alternative assessment if it is seen to be compelling in terms of learner needs. (Contains 6 figures and 11 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Alternative Assessment, Beliefs, Constructivism (Learning), Educational Assessment, Educational Improvement, Elementary Secondary Education, Interviews, Knowledge Level, Professional Development, Science Education, Science Teachers, Student Evaluation, Teacher Attitudes, Teaching Methods, Test Use
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (St. Louis, MO, March 1996).