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ERIC Number: ED523036
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 200
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-8842-7
The Influence of High Stakes Testing and Test Preparation on High School Students' Perspectives on Education and Lifelong Learning
Rowland, Barbara
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Walden University
With the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act in January of 2002, curricula in high schools in the United States have adjusted to make room for test preparation activities and high stakes testing. This involves teaching skills and content in the format of the test only, drilling students on specific skills and content areas that will be on the test, and spending more class time preparing for testing. This qualitative study explored how high stakes testing and test preparation programs have influenced 12th-grade students' attitudes about education and lifelong learning. The study was informed by Vygotsky's social constructivist theory which posits that shared experiences help shape a person's attitudes about the context of his or her environment. Data were collected from three focus groups (total of 16 participants) and 9 in-depth individual interviews conducted at 3 high schools. Data were audio taped, transcribed, and then analyzed through three cycles of coding: initial coding, focused coding, and establishing themes. Results indicated that students reported negative attitudes about their formal education but were optimistic about lifelong learning. Students perceived current test preparation practices as ineffective, that high stakes tests are not an accurate measure of students' academic capabilities, high stakes tests have an unjustifiable influence on students' futures, real-world learning is more likely to occur after high school and, external pressures to perform well on high stakes tests are counter-productive. Understanding students' expectations and ideals about education and lifelong learning can guide educators and policy makers in providing learning experiences in high school that better prepare students for their social responsibilities as college students, workers, and citizens. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001