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Using annotations to inform an understanding of achievement standards

Lenore Adie and Jill Willis

The implementation of a new national curriculum and standards-referenced assessment in Australia has been an opportunity and a challenge for teacher assessment practices. In this case study of teachers in two Queensland schools, we explore how annotating student or exemplar assessment tasks could support teacher assessment practice. Three learning conversations between the researchers and the teacher teams are interpreted through the lens of Bernstein’s (1999) horizontal and vertical discourses to understand the complexities of coming to know an assessment standard. The study contributes to the literature on the use of annotations by exploring how teachers negotiated the purposes and processes of annotation, how annotating student work or exemplars before teaching commenced supported teachers to experience greater clarity about assessment standards and, finally, some of the tensions experienced by the teachers as they considered this practice within the practicalities of their daily work.

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