The relationship between formative and summative teacher assessment of primary science in England

Earle, S (2018) The relationship between formative and summative teacher assessment of primary science in England. PhD thesis, Bath Spa University.

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Abstract

Assessment drives the taught curriculum, defines what is valued (Stobart 2008) and can enhance or hinder learning (Mansell et al. 2009). In England, the complexities of assessment are compounded by ongoing changes to statutory assessment procedures and a lack of centralised guidance for judgements of primary science (Turner et al. 2013). The Nuffield expert group (2012) proposed a pyramid-shaped model of teacher assessment which utilised formative information to inform summative judgements. The model was operationalised by the Teacher Assessment in Primary Science (TAPS) project (Davies et al. 2014), but there was no explicit explanation of the 'formative to summative' process. This study sought to develop understanding of the relationship between formative and summative teacher assessment of primary science, in action and over time. A Design-Based Research (DBR) approach was used in order to develop guidance directly relevant to practice. Analysis of 91 submissions from the Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM) database provided a mapping of current practice in England. Two case studies of TAPS project schools considered the enacted relationship between formative and summative assessment, during implementation of a 'formative to summative' approach. New insights have been gained into the conceptualisation and enactment of the relationship between formative and summative assessment. Teacher conceptualisations of assessment were found to encapsulate a wide range of dimensions such as purpose, value, audience, assessor, timing, formality, rigidity and support. Refinements to the TAPS pyramid model are proposed to explain the 'formative to summative' process, conceptualising summative assessment as a summary judgement of attainment, which may be informed by snapshot and focused assessment activities. It was found that implementation of a 'formative to summative' approach required a shared understanding of key assessment concepts like validity and reliability; a seesaw balance model is proposed to support the development of such a shared understanding.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: assessment, formative assessment, summative assessment, primary science, education, science education, England, Teacher Assessment in Primary Science, TAPS, pyramid model, formative to summative process, case studies, Design-Based Research, DBR, curriculum, taught curriculum, teachers, students, validity, reliability, PSQM database, recommendations for practice
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
Divisions: Institute for Education
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 10:22
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2018 11:33
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