Teachers’ perceptions of assessments

Michelle T. Chamberlin, Jeff D. Farmer and Jodie D. Novak have written an article called Teachers’ perceptions of assessments of their mathematical knowledge in a professional development course. The article was published online in Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education a couple of days ago. Here is the abstract:

The purpose of the project reported in this article was to evaluate how assessing teachers’ mathematical knowledge within a professional development course impacted from the teachers’ perspective their learning and their experience with the course. The professional development course consisted of a 2-week summer institute and the content focus was geometry. We had decided to assess the mathematical learning of the teachers during this professional development course for various accountability reasons, but were concerned about possible negative by-products of this decision on the teachers and their participation. Thus, we worked to design assessment in ways that we hoped would minimize negative impacts and maintain a supportive learning environment. In addition, we undertook this evaluation to examine the impacts of the assessment, which included homework, quizzes, various projects, and an examination for program evaluation. Seventeen grade 5–9 teachers enrolled in the course participated in the study by completing written reflections and by describing their experiences in interviews. We learned that while our original intent was “to do no harm,” the teachers reported that their learning was enhanced by the assessment. The article concludes by describing the various properties of the assessments that the teachers identified as contributing to their learning of the geometry content, many of which align with current recommendations for assessing and evaluating grade K-16 mathematics students.

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