The figured worlds of high school science teachers : uncovering three-dimensional assessment decisions
Henning, Mary Beth
Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Education; Science--Study and teaching; Secondary education; Educational tests and measurements
As a result of recent mandates of the Next Generation Science Standards, assessments are a "system of meaning" amidst a paradigm shift toward three-dimensional assessments. This study is motivated by two research questions: 1) how do high school science teachers describe their processes of decision-making in the development and use of three-dimensional assessments and 2) how do high school science teachers negotiate their identities as assessors in designing three-dimensional assessments. An important factor in teachers' assessment decision making is how they identify themselves as assessors. Therefore, this study investigated the teachers' roles as assessors through the Sociocultural Identity Theory. The most important contribution from this study is the emergent teacher assessment sub-identities: the modifier-recycler , the feeler-finder, and the creator. Using a qualitative phenomenological research design, focus groups, three-series interviews, think-alouds, and document analysis were utilized in this study. These qualitative methods were chosen to elicit rich conversations among teachers, make meaning of the teachers' experiences through in-depth interviews, amplify the thought processes of individual teachers while making assessment decisions, and analyze assessment documents in relation to teachers' perspectives. The findings from this study suggest that---of the 19 participants---only two teachers could consistently be identified as creators and aligned their assessment practices with NGSS. However, assessment sub-identities are not static and teachers may negotiate their identities from one moment to the next within socially constructed realms of interpretation known as figured worlds. Because teachers are positioned in less powerful figured worlds within the dominant discourse of standardization, this study raises awareness as to how the external pressures from more powerful figured worlds socially construct teachers' identities as assessors. For teachers to re-author their scripts as assessors and create three-dimensional assessments, they first need to be aware of their assessment identity. Furthermore, the findings provide support for teachers to advocate for the development and use of assessments that measure students' three-dimensional learning rather than relying on assessments that are easily "counted."
Ewald, Megan, "The figured worlds of high school science teachers : uncovering three-dimensional assessment decisions" (2017). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 5771.
Northern Illinois University
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Advisors: Mary Beth Henning.||Committee members: Kerry T. Burch; Laura R. Johnson; Eui-Kyung Shin.||Includes bibliographical references.