Authentic assessment knowledge and practice of selected second-year Massachusetts high school teachers
While many educators have accepted authentic assessment methodology into the universal practice of teaching, there remains little evidence that authentic assessment methods have generally been accepted by classroom teachers as reliable and valid assessments.
The present study examined current authentic assessment practices of second-year teachers in Massachusetts high schools. The modeling of assessment practice and training provided to teacher trainees was studied in relationship to actual authentic assessment practices used in Massachusetts high schools.
Research methods for this quantitative study included descriptive and causal comparative methods. A questionnaire instrument was used for data collection. A systematic random sample of 500 practicing, second-year teachers in Massachusetts high schools was drawn from an accessible population of 1,000. The final sample size of 202 was realized from the returned instruments.
The study indicates that practicing, second-year teachers in Massachusetts high schools perceive that their assessment training in teacher education preparation programs has been limited.
Analysis of data revealed that preservice training in traditional assessment was more inclusive than training in authentic methods. Training in specific authentic assessment methods was found to be limited. In addition, second-year teachers reported that traditional methods of assessment were most used by their college professors. Paradoxically, in their current classroom use second-year teachers used authentic assessments more than traditional tests. However, portfolio assessment was used least. Analysis of variance did reveal limited significant differences in the use of authentic assessment by second-year teachers trained at public or private colleges. Analysis of variance did reveal significant differences in the use of authentic assessment between second-year teachers in specific curriculum areas. English and social studies teachers reported higher use of various authentic assessment methods, while math and science teachers reported limited use. Lastly, data analysis revealed that a low to moderate correlation existed between pre-service training and the use of authentic assessment.
The study presents compelling evidence that the assessment of student achievement by teachers should be a priority in effective school programming.
0533: Secondary education