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Title: A phenomenographic study on student teachers' conceptions of Assessment for Learning and their perceptions of their development as Assessment for Learning Practitioners
Author: Hurford , Donna
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 9402
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2016
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Student teachers' (ST) future role as Assessment for Learning (AfL) practitioners affirms the need for better understanding of the inter-relationship between AfL and ST development. Research from the school-based AfL discourse and the ST development discourse inform this study. Critical theory and critical pedagogy provide a critical perspective, on AfL's theorisation within learning theories and the politicisation of assessment and ST education. Research- based contentions arising from theorisations of AfL and ST development directly inform this study's discussion and its conclusions. The data for this study were provided by 16 newly qualified primary STs who were interviewed about their AfL experiences during their post-graduate ST education. Phenomenography's qualitative, experiential and relational focus provides a relevant methodology and analysis for the STs' descriptive accounts. Two complementary research questions are explored: STs' conceptions of AfL and STs' perceptions of their development as AfL practitioners. Each research question's phenomenographic analysis elicits Categories of Description and an Outcome Space. In addition, the rich and complex individual descriptions yield further insights into ST development as AfL practitioners. This study concludes that STs' beliefs in learner-centred teaching and learning are congruent with their accommodation of principled AfL and its adoption into their regular classroom practice. This congruence is important because it challenges common, negative perceptions of STs' altruistic motivators. However this accommodation cannot be left to chance; both ST development as AfL practitioners and embedding principled AfL in school practice needs action by STs and ST education. The recommendations include: collaborative ST education; critically reflective, constructivist approaches; professional co-learning about AfL; fostering ST beliefs in learner-centred teaching and learning and encouraging ST dispositions which enable sustained commitment to principled AfL. In addition, AfL theorisations and pedagogic texts are looked to for clearer guidance on scaffolding STs through learner-centred teaching and learning towards learner autonomy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available