Title

Secondary school mathematics teachers conceptions regarding assessment

Date of Award

8-1-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

Assessment is the process through which teachers collect, synthesize, and interpret information to aid in decision-making about students' learning and their own teaching. Teachers' conceptions regarding assessment are believed to influence their classroom practices. Hence, studying teachers' conceptions of assessment is important in a sense that it provides an indication of how teachers conceive assessment, how different forms of assessment are being used or misused and, most importantly, what could be done to enhance their conceptions of assessment thereby improving their classroom practices. This study aimed to explore the conceptions of mathematics teachers regarding assessment in secondary schools in tehsil Mastuj, district Chitral. The study also aimed at finding out the differences between private and public school mathematics teachers' conceptions. A cross-sectional survey design was used in this study. Participants of the study were mathematics teachers (N=110) from public and private schools selected through multi-stage sampling technique. Data were collected through a standardized questionnaire 'Teachers Conceptions of Assessment' (TCoA) that comprised 27 items with six options ranging from 'strongly disagree' to 'strongly agree'. The questionnaire was validated through content validity and a pilot study and its reliability was 0.72. The data were analyzed through Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). Findings of the study revealed that participant teachers showed a high level of agreement with three conceptions of assessment, that is, 'school accountability', 'improvement', and 'student accountability', whereas they showed a comparatively low level of agreement with the conception of 'irrelevance'. Moreover, a comparison of public and private school mathematics teachers showed no significant differences among their conceptions regarding 'school accountability', 'improvement', and 'student accountability'. However, there was a significant difference between the conceptions of the two schooling systems regarding the conception of 'irrelevance' where private school mathematics teachers scored significantly higher than their public school counterparts. Based on the findings, the study provides suggestions to professional development institutions to improve teachers' skills in students' assessment. It also provides suggestions on future research for interested researchers in the same field.

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