Date of Award

Spring 5-2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Terry Reid

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Dennis Cooper

Abstract

Federal and state accountability requirements have raised the stakes on student achievement testing. Teachers' perceptions of accountability testing influence classroom instruction (Wiliam, 2005). Teacher instruction greatly impacts student learning (Schmoker, 2006). This mixed method study examined teachers’ perceptions of assessment and instruction. Analysis of data from case studies of three classroom teachers revealed three themes relating to assessment and instruction. The themes were further investigated by means of a Likert survey. The case study and survey methodologies provided descriptive data of teachers' beliefs regarding the value of various assessment types, the influence of different types of assessment on teaching practice, and the usefulness of various assessments as indicators of student learning. The results indicated that while teachers recognize the importance of preparing students for high-stakes testing, they value and depend on teacher observations and results of teacher-created assessments to measure student learning and inform instruction. A call for educational leaders to understand, communicate, and educate others regarding the value of formative and summative assessment was made. Interview data revealed a need for training of pre-service teachers and sustained training of in-service teachers in the analysis of assessment data, implementation of research-based instructional strategies, methods of differentiating instruction in the classroom, and effective use of teaching resources.

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