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Toward assessment readiness: An embedded approach in primary initial teacher education

Lisa F. Smith and Raylene Galvin

This study examined how students’ beliefs about assessment changed over the 3 years of a primary teacher education programme in which assessment is taught in an embedded fashion as compared to a dedicated assessment course. Data were taken from Likert-type items from the “Beliefs About Assessment” questionnaire (see Hill, Cowie, Gilmore, & Smith, 2010), three student focus groups, and two teacher educator conversations. Results indicated that in the first and second years, students were more likely to perceive assessment in a summative fashion, as stressful, assigning a grade, and as comparing students to each other. By the third year, students differentiated among different uses of assessment, and perceived assessment as an integral part of good teaching and learning. Results are discussed in terms of the value of an embedded approach to preparing initial teacher education students to be assessment ready when they begin to teach.

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