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Early childhood initial teacher education students’ learning about assessment

Alexandra C. Gunn and Alison Gilmore

This article examines conceptions of assessment in early childhood initial teacher education (ITE) students’ learning and relative to assessment policy and practice in Aotearoa New Zealand. Dominant conceptions of assessment were identified in participants’ discussions about their own assessment learning in ITE. These were then compared with students’ beliefs about assessment and descriptions of assessment practices involving them. Assessment conceptions related to “forms of assessment”, “feedback”, “assessment and teaching”, and “early
childhood education assessment principles and practices”. When considering these student teachers’ learning relative to the notion of assessment capability, it became evident that they were exiting ITE oriented towards professional expectations and aspirations, and poised to further develop their assessment expertise in the settings in which they might gain employment.

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