The use of levelled assessment tasks and their impact on teaching and learning in science education

Chandler-Grevatt, Andrew J (2010) The use of levelled assessment tasks and their impact on teaching and learning in science education. Doctoral thesis (EdD), University of Sussex.

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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.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary education. High schools
L Education > LF Individual institutions (Europe)
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2011 12:47
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2015 14:30

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