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Changes in teachers' formative classroom practice after a professional development programme, and important conditions for change
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Mathematics Education Research Centre (UMERC).
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Mathematics Education Research Centre (UMERC).
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Formative assessment has been shown to have the power to positively affect student achievement, but support for teachers to substantially develop their formative classroom practices have been frequently unsuccessful. In this study, a random selection of year-7 teachers participated in a professional development programme (PDP) in formative assessment. The PDP was designed in accordance with many of the characteristics known to be important for teachers’ possibilities to develop their practice. Classroom observations, questionnaires and interviews are used to investigate the changes made in the teachers’ classroom practices after the PDP, and the conditions and barriers they perceived to have been important in their endeavours to developing a formative classroom practice. The results show how all teachers developed their practice, but to different degrees, and that a majority of the implemented activities focus on the teacher as the responsible agent for the formative assessment process. The teachers were satisfied with most of the conditions provided during the PDP, but experienced barriers for change from the teaching conditions at their schools after the PDP. A comparison is made with a parallel PDP for year-4 teachers that resulted in large teacher changes and significant effects on student achievement.

Keyword [en]
formative assessment, assessment for learning, professional development, mathematics, secondary school
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
didactics of mathematics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-135028OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-135028DiVA: diva2:1095961
Available from: 2017-05-16 Created: 2017-05-16 Last updated: 2017-05-17
In thesis
1. Formativ bedömning: en enkel match eller en svår utmaning? Effekter av en kompetensutvecklingssatsning på lärarnas praktik och på elevernas prestationer i matematik
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Formativ bedömning: en enkel match eller en svår utmaning? Effekter av en kompetensutvecklingssatsning på lärarnas praktik och på elevernas prestationer i matematik
2017 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Formative assessment : a piece of cake or a difficult challenge? Effects of a professional development programme on teachers' classroom practice and students' achievement in mathematics
Abstract [en]

Research reviews have shown that the use of formative assessment in classroom practice can substantially improve student achievement. However, a strong research base about how to support teachers’ implementation of such formative classroom practice is lacking. In this thesis, I investigate the effects of a comprehensive professional development programme (PDP) in formative assessment on teachers’ classroom practice and students’ achievement in mathematics. In addition, I identify reasons for the changes made in the teachers’ formative classroom practice. Fourteen randomly selected year - 7 mathematics teachers participated in the PDP. The teachers’ formative classroom practice before and after attending the programme was analysed and described, and reasons for their change in practice were explored. The effect of the changes in formative classroom practice on students’ mathematics achievement was examined using pre- and post-tests administered to both the intervention group and a control group. A mixed methods approach with classroom observations, teacher interviews, questionnaires and student achievement tests in mathematics was used in the studies included in the thesis.

The results show that the teachers used aspects of formative assessment in their classroom practice before the PDP, but that there was plenty of room for development towards a more effective formative assessment practice. Several possibilities for developing the practice were identified. After the PDP the teachers believed in the idea of formative assessment and were motivated to make changes towards a more formative classroom practice. The teachers included new formative assessment activities in their classroom practice, but in different ways and to different degrees. The characteristics of these changes were identified, and also the characteristics of the PDP that the teachers found to be influential for their development of the formative classroom practice. Results also show that the teachers’ motivational beliefs held after the PDP was an explanatory factor for their changes in practice. However, the formative assessment practice the teachers implemented did not have a significant effect on their students’ achievement compared to the control group. In addition, there was no correlation between the number of formative assessment activities implemented by the teachers and their students’ achievement gains. Reasons for these non-effects on student achievement, and for the teachers’ degree and type of implementation of formative assessment in the classroom practice, are discussed in the thesis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2017. 88 p.
Series
Studies in Science and Technology Education, ISSN 1652-5051 ; 96
Keyword
Formative assessment, assessment for learning, mathematics, professional development, teacher practice, teacher growth, student achievement, motivation, expectancy-value theory, secondary school, Formativ bedömning, bedömning för lärande, matematik, kompetensutveckling, elevers prestationer, lärares lärande, motivation, expectancy-value theory
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
didactics of mathematics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-135038 (URN)978-91-7601-706-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-06-09, Hörsal F, Humanisthuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-05-19 Created: 2017-05-16 Last updated: 2017-05-23Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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