Shifting Summative Final Examination Policies and Teacher Assessment of Student Achievement

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  • The purpose of this study was to better understand how continually changing summative final examination policies are impacting teachers’ ability to assess the academic achievement of their students. Four experienced secondary level teachers familiar with the implementation of high stakes summative examinations served as data sources in this basic qualitative study. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews and analyzed using the constant comparative method. Two categories of data emerged, one emphasizing teachercentric variables and the
    other student learner attributes (SLA’s). Shifting examination policies had a toppling effect on the SLA’s of students due to a decrease in the influence high stakes examinations had on their academic value judgements and a resultant decrease in levels of student self-efficacy. Changing policies led to inconsistencies in the deployment of formative and summative assessment strategies by teachers. They had had an influence on teachers’ ability to assess the academic achievement of students by affecting their ability to accurately plan for the instructional pacing of their classes which in turn changed how teachers approached the delivery of curriculum objectives. These factors required teachers to hastily adjust their assessment plans creating further inconsistencies among educators. Recommendations for the future involve the improvement of student motivation and self-efficacy through increasing levels of teacher developmental leadership behaviours. Districts are also encouraged to adopt longer-term policy approaches to the implementation of summative final examinations while school leaders should engage in a renewed focus towards building assessment cultures in their schools.

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    Research Material
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International