Using action research to inquire into Assessment for Learning: implications for continuing professional development in English schools

McKenna, C.A (2018) Using action research to inquire into Assessment for Learning: implications for continuing professional development in English schools. M.Phil thesis, Bath Spa University.

Abstract

This thesis demonstrates the application of an Action Research framework, drawing on a variety of methodologies in order to understand the nature of my methodological inventiveness. The study was originally based on the attempt to develop an understanding of the pedagogy and practice relating to the implementation of the National Strategies in Assessment for Learning. It was developed by examining the strategies in a real world context using an Action Research framework as a basis for the synthesised methodology. The work on this thesis incorporated the "improve" paradigm of research and was grounded in the notion of social justice. This concept has been central to developing my own and others' practice. The theme of the research on Assessment for Learning was inspired by the first instance by the work by Black and William on Formative Assessment. The original research on which this thesis is based has taken place in a time frame constrained by the implementation of the strategy to the removal of the support, an action taken by the coalition government. The thesis has examined the pedagogical theories behind the concept of Assessment for Learning and the National Strategies. It has also considered how these ideas have been implemented in schools and the impact this has had on a variety of stakeholders. The work by Black and William suggests a rolling programme of action research type activities in order to develop the ideas they are postulating. This thesis has taken this concept and applied the idea creating a synthesised methodology which has resulted in my developing my own concept of methodological inventiveness. This thesis presents a number of original contributions to knowledge, centred on the fact that each school is a unique culture and therefore the implementation of a generic Continued Professional Development (CPD) strategy will prove difficult, the language of individual sites being different. Another significant contribution to knowledge is based on the terminology of assessment and how it is interpreted by practitioners, the different paradigms are discussed and conclusions drawn. This is based on the premise that educational practice equates with embodied knowledge and this thesis examines this concept. It also aims to clarify the meaning of social justice in the context of this study and the reasons for how this concept emerged. The concept of methodological inventiveness is also examined and conclusions drawn from the experience of this research.

Item Type: Thesis (M.Phil)
Note:

Thesis supervised by Dr Mary Stakelum.

Keywords: action research, methodology, pedagogy, National Strategies in Assessment for Learning, social justice, strategy implementation, coalition government, UK, England, case study, schools, Continued Professional Development (CPD), embodied knowledge, methodological inventiveness
Divisions: Institute for Education
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 09:28
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2018 10:09
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