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ERIC Number: EJ832216
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 57
ISSN: ISSN-1175-8708
Assessment as an "Emotional Practice"
Steinberg, Carola
English Teaching: Practice and Critique, v7 n3 p42-64 Dec 2008
The intention of this article is to illustrate how assessment is an "emotional practice" (Hargreaves, 1998) for teachers and how paying attention to the emotions involved can provide useful information about assessment practices to teachers, teacher-educators and policy-reformers. Through presenting a review of research literature it makes three main points. Firstly, assessment decisions are not "neutral" but involve teachers' emotions, which are interwoven with their beliefs. Secondly, standardised assessment generates intensely negative emotions in teachers which limit their effectiveness, while accountability practices can evoke undesirable emotions which undermine the purposes of schooling. Thirdly, formative assessment and accountability through standardised assessment are governed by conflicting emotional rules, which inevitably generate confusion in practice. It concludes by calling for further research so as to better understand the multiple ways in which assessment is an "emotional practice". (Contains 9 footnotes.)
Wilf Malcolm Institute for Educational Research, University of Waikato. PB 3105, Hamilton, New Zealand. Tel: +64-7-858-5171; Fax: +64-7-838-4712; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A