Title

A case study: Formative classroom assessment practices of two lower secondary teachers of mathematics in an English medium private school of Karachi

Date of Award

8-1-2008

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

This small-scale case study attempts to investigate the formative assessment practices of two lower secondary mathematics teachers of two private English-medium secondary schools of Karachi, Pakistan. It paves the path to explore the different ways of giving feedback to students and asking oral questions from them in the classroom. The nature of the study leads the researcher towards using the qualitative paradigm, with the case study approach at the heart of the study. The trustworthiness of the data was ensured through designing different tools for investigation: interview, observation, and the use of complementary documentary evidence. The dominant form of assessment in Pakistan is highly summative and is focused on promoting students to the next classes. However, teachers in this study were found to be using some aspects of formative assessment. In this connection, the main findings that emerged from classroom observations, interviews, and document analyses of primary and secondary research participants were analyzed and discussed. In particular, the findings reiterate the teachers' understanding of formative assessment, along with ways of feedback from the teacher to the students. Furthermore, the teachers' classroom observations exemplified that they give oral feedback to explain how to get to the appropriate solution of mathematical problems. Moreover, the nature of feedback was corrective, but errors were not explained. Some hindering and facilitating factors regarding sustaining formative assessment at the classroom level emerged during the teachers' interviews. Although teachers faced several challenges, there is still hope for sustaining formative assessment in classrooms, because it is given utmost priority in the National Education Policy (2007).

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