Dilution, corruption and redemption : authentic formative assessment in the subject classrooms of General Studies
This thesis investigates the implementation of formative assessment by student teachers in the 'figured world' of General Studies classrooms in Hong Kong. It aims to make suggestions for the effective preparation of student teachers in providing formative assessments in classrooms, and to provide insight for practising teachers when they plan to implement formative assessment in their subject classrooms. Twenty-nine student teachers, taking General Studies as one of their electives in the Postgraduate Diploma of Education programme, were invited (and they all agreed) to be co-researchers during the first phase of the study. During their learning of the curriculum studies module, they learned and experienced the major characteristics of formative assessment. In the second phase of the study, fifteen of them were invited (and they all agreed) to continue to participate in the study to investigate their implementation of formative assessment during their student teaching in local primary schools. The findings of the study show that after undergoing the intervention conducted by the researcher, most of the co-researchers grasped some basic concepts of formative assessment, though they did not have such learning and experiences in their previous education. During their student teaching, most of them claimed that they had implemented formative assessment in General Studies classrooms, and encountered different constraints and problems. A model of implementing formative assessment in the subject classrooms of General Studies is produced. Each co-researcher submitted a videotape of one lesson, to allow verbal reports to be compared with actual classroom behaviour. These videotaped lessons showed jjj differences between the intended and the implemented curriculum in classrooms, brought about by various constraints and difficulties. The attained curriculum reflected the fact that authentic formative assessment was either diluted or corrupted. The results of the study suggest it may be easier to change the intentions of the co-researchers than their actions in classrooms. It is suggested that the teacher education institute should take a leading role in the education reform in Hong Kong to involve schools in the practice of assessment for learning. Furthermore, school teachers should be encouraged to take the initiative in launching the educational change of formative assessment in their subject classrooms, to seek approval from principals and school boards, as well as support from parents and students in order to institutionalize the change. They may also conduct action research to make improvements to practice during the change process.