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Title: Teachers' classroom assessment practices in Irish-medium early years foundation stage settings : a socio-cultural analysis
Author: Mhic Aoidh , Eibhlin Mary
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2013
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This study explores assessment in foundation stage (ages 4-6) Irish-medium [IM] primary schools in the north of Ireland. In IM education, pupils are immersed in and educated through Irish, which is for most not the home language. The study is an investigation of assessment practices in a sample of IM schools and units, with a focus on participants' perspectives in four case study IM settings through the narratives of teachers, classroom assistants and pupils and complemented by interviews with principals. The study investigates whether there are additional issues related to assessment in IM early years settings, if assessment practices can be improved and if so how. Research methods are interpretive and the research is embedded in a socio-cultural framework. Data are analysed using Rogoffs planes of analysis (1996) and Lave's work on arenas and settings (1988). The data highlight the interactive nature of early years IM assessment and the value of teacher observation but also the paucity of appropriate assessment tools for foundation stage 1M pupils compared to those available in English. Participants recommended age-appropriate assessment tools, a framework for Irish language development and professional development opportunities for collaboration and sharing of good practice among IM teachers. The socio-cultural analysis illuminated dilemmas experienced by teachers believing in the richness of observation-based assessment whilst working in an arena which privileges numerical data. The study cautions against the practice of assessing pupils educated through the medium of Irish by tools designed and normed for monolingual pupils.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available