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Title: The use of levelled assessment tasks and their impact on teaching and learning in science education
Author: Chandler-Grevatt, Andrew J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2718 5295
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2010
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The use of Levelled Assessment Tasks (LATs) in secondary science in England has been increasing over the past five years in response to attempts to encourage more Assessment for Learning (AfL) strategies in the science classroom. This empirical study investigates how LATs are used by teachers and the extent to which such tasks support teaching and learning. An online survey of 106 teachers was used. It showed that teachers did find that the LATs supported their teaching using AfL strategies, but revealed that a majority of teachers do not use the tasks as formatively as they could be used. From the online questionnaire, a descriptive framework for how the LATs support teaching and learning is proposed. Five case studies where teachers used a LAT were observed. The data collected included a post-lesson pupil questionnaire, an interview with a group of pupils and an interview of the teacher. From these cases, a theory seeking approach to educational case studies through fuzzy propositions (Bassey, 1999) was used to develop a model of the relationship between teacher values and pupil values to assessment tasks. The fuzzy generalisations proposed from the case studies were that: (1) Teacher attitudes to the LATs may influence pupil attitudes to the LATs, (2) Teachers with a „big picture of levels‟ may be more likely to use LATs formatively and (3) Teachers who engage pupils with the notion of „levelness‟ may be more likely to improve conceptual development of pupils. The notion of „levelness‟ is explored. This evolves into three issues being explored: whether grades should be shared with pupils, the LATs relationship with summative and formative assessment practices and why such tasks have become popular with science teachers. The latter is considered in the context of the current target-driven culture of schools in England. Finally, the future of assessments like the LATs is discussed in relation to current policy and recommendations for their use and development are considered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: L Education (General) ; LB1603 Secondary education. High schools ; LF Individual institutions (Europe)