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Preparing assessment-capable teachers: What should preservice teachers know and be able to do?

Mary Hill, Bronwen Cowie, Alison Gilmore, and Lisa F. Smith

In a world where schools are accountable for ensuring that all of their students are academically well prepared to enter “the knowledge society”, using assessment in the service of learning is a critical skill for teachers. This article contends that in order to prepare teachers to use assessment for learning, we need to understand student teachers’ values about and conceptions of assessment, as well as how they learn to use assessment during their teacher education programmes. We review the literature on assessment learning by student teachers and compare this with research on teachers’ values, conceptions and the critical skills needed to implement assessment aligned with  improving learning. We then develop an argument for investigating student teacher assessment learning in the New Zealand context in order to understand how our student teachers think about assessment as well as how they learn to become assessment-capable teachers.

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