Knowledge to Practice Gap in Classroom Assessment

Today, the terms Assessment “Of,” “For,” and “As” Learning have become educational mantras, and their influence can be found in curriculum documents across the country.

Project Category:
Strengthening research brokering work
Topic Area:
Student Identity
Ministry Priority
Teaching and Learning
Project Lead(s):

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Pat McAdie

Brief Background:
Today, the terms Assessment “Of,” “For,” and “As” Learning have become educational mantras, and their influence can be found in curriculum documents across the country. Underlying these relatively simple phrases is a complex set of interrelationships that exists amongst teachers’ educational practices, students’ engagement in learning, and students’ motivation. Researchers who are exploring these evolving conceptions of assessment acknowledge the inherent challenges to help teachers fully understand the relevant research findings and the implications of these findings for the classroom. The purpose of this project is to examine the methods to best broker the research knowledge that currently exists on effective classroom practices to practicing teachers.
Research Context:
Black and Wiliam introduced the notion of “Assessment For Learning” in 1998, expanding on previous research related to formative assessment. Subsequently, researchers have increasingly explored the potential for these extended notions of assessment to support learning (e.g., Brookhart, 1999; Earl, 2003; Wiliam, Lee, Harrison, & Black, 2004). Black and Wiliam have also noted the challenges associated with the successful implementation of such practices (Black, 2007; Black & Wiliam, 2003). While research continues to explore the potential impact of these conceptions of assessment, they have quickly become important foundations for education throughout Canada.
Knowledge Mobilization Activities:
This study will first explore teachers’ current conceptions about classroom assessment, the fit between these conceptions and current research, and the primary source from which teachers have obtained their knowledge. It will then work with teachers to identify the methods that are currently in use for learning about practice. Knowledge regarding assessment will be mobilized to subsequently: (1) develop materials ; and (2) disseminate these materials to a broader membership of teachers in the ETFO . Knowledge mobilization is inherent to this project as data from focus groups of practicing teachers will be used to explore methods of dissemination that may provide more effective means to communicate current assessment research to teachers.
It is the intention of this project to help the Queens’ Assessment and Evaluation Group (AEG) and the ETFO begin to implement more effective mechanisms to support beginning and experienced teachers’ ongoing professional efforts to improve their practices related to assessment and evaluation. The findings will have implications for the broader dissemination of classroom related research and practices.