Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Prospective Teachers' Conceptions of Assessment: A Cross-Cultural Comparison

  • Gavin T L Brown (a1) and Ana Remesal (a2)

This paper examines the responses of two samples of prospective teachers (New Zealand, n = 324; and Spain, n = 672) to the Teachers' Conceptions of Assessment inventory (English and Spanish respectively). The inventory captures four major intentions for assessment (i.e., improvement, irrelevance, school and student accountability). The conceptions of prospective teachers about the nature and purpose of assessment are relevant, given that (a) much educational assessment is carried out in classrooms; and (b) prospective teachers enter the teacher education programs with significant prior school experience of assessment as pupils. Results of confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the original model was inadmissible and that the best-fitting revised model was only configurally invariant between the two samples. It would appear that lack of teaching experience results in different responses for prospective teachers to those of practicing teachers. Moreover, differences in societal and cultural priorities for assessment use most likely explain the lack of invariance between samples.

En este trabajo se examinan las respuestas de dos muestras de estudiantes de magisterio (Nueva Zelanda, n = 324; y España, n = 672) al cuestionario Teachers' Conceptions of Assessment (en sendas versiones en inglés y español). El cuestionario recoge cuatro intenciones principales de la evaluación en la acción docente (mejora de los procesos de enseñanza y aprendizaje, irrelevancia, rendición de cuentas de la institución escolar y rendición de cuentas del alumno). Las concepciones de los estudiantes de magisterio sobre la naturaleza y los propósitos de la evaluación del aprendizaje son relevantes dado que (a) la evaluación es una actividad frecuente en el aula; y (b) los estudiantes de magisterio inician la formación con una amplia experiencia previa como alumnos. Los resultados del análisis factorial confirmatorio indican que el modelo original no es admisible para estas muestras; en consecuencia, se presentan y discuten modelos alternativos. Las diferencias explicativas más plausibles encontradas apuntan hacia diferencias culturales y de experiencia docente.

Corresponding author
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Gavin T L Brown. School of Teaching, Learning & Development, Faculty of Education, The University of Auckland. Private Bag 92019, Auckland, 1142 (New Zealand). E-mail:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

A. Bandura (2001). Social cognitive theory: An agentic perspective. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 126.

F. D. Betoret , & A. G. Artiga (2004). Trainee teachers' conceptions of teaching and learning, classroom layout and exam design. Educational Studies, 30(4), 355372.

G. T. L. Brown (2004a). Measuring attitude with positively packed self-report ratings: Comparison of agreement and frequency scales. Psychological Reports, 94, 10151024.

G. T. L. Brown (2004b). Teachers' conceptions of assessment: Implications for policy and professional development. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 11(3), 301318.

G. T. L. Brown (2006). Teachers' conceptions of assessment: Validation of an abridged instrument. Psychological Reports, 99, 166170.

G. T. L. Brown , & G. H. F. Hirschfeld (2008). Students' conceptions of assessment: Links to outcomes. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice, 15(1), 317.

G. T. L. Brown , S. E. Irving , E. R. Peterson , & G. H. F. Hirschfeld (2009). Use of interactive-informal assessment practices: New Zealand secondary students' conceptions of assessment. Learning and Instruction, 19(2), 97111.

G. T. L. Brown , K. J. Kennedy , P. K. Fok , J. K. S. Chan , & W. M. Yu (2009). Assessment for student improvement: Understanding Hong Kong teachers' conceptions and practices of assessment. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 16(3), 347363.

G. T. L. Brown , R. Lake , & G. Matters (2009). Assessment policy and practice effects on New Zealand and Queensland teachers' conceptions of teaching. Journal of Education for Teaching, 35(1), 6175.

G. T. L. Brown , R. Lake , & G. Matters (2011). Queensland teachers' conceptions of assessment: The impact of policy priorities on teacher attitudes. Teachingand Teacher Education, 27(1), 210220.

B. M. Byrne , R. J. Shavelson , & B. Muthen (1989). Testing for the equivalence of factor covariance and mean structures -the issue of partial measurement invariance. Psychological Bulletin, 105(3), 456466.

G. W. Cheung , & R. B. Rensvold (2002). Evaluating goodness-of-fit indexes for testing measurement invariance. Structural Equation Modeling, 9(2), 233255.

M. Cochran-Smith , & K. Fries (2005). Researching teacher education in changing times: Paradigms and politics. In M. Cochran-Smith & K. Zeichner (Eds.), Studying teacher education: The report of the AERA panel on research and teacher education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

C. Coll , & A. Remesal (2009). Concepciones del profesorado de matemáticas sobre la evaluación del aprendizaje en la educación obligatoria: dimensiones y funciones. [Mathematics teachers' conceptions of learning assessment in compulsory education: dimensions and functions]. Infancia y Aprendizaje, 32(3), 391404.

T. J. Crooks (2002). Educational assessment in New Zealand schools. Assessment in Education: Principles Policy & Practice, 9(2), 237253.

T. J. Crooks (2010). Classroom assessment in policy context (New Zealand). In B. McGraw , P. Peterson & E. L. Baker (Eds.), The international encyclopaedia of education (3rd ed., pp. 443448). Oxford, UK: Elsevier.

X. Fan , & S. A. Sivo (2007). Sensitivity of fit indices to model misspecification and model types. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 42(3), 509529.

L. R. Harris , & G. T. L. Brown (2009). The complexity of teachers' conceptions of assessment: Tensions between the needs of schools and students. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 16(3), 365381.

L. Ludlow , J. Pedulla , S. Enterline , M. Cochran-Smith , F. Loftus , Y. Salomon-Fernandez , & E. Mitescu (2008). From students to teachers: using surveys to build a culture of evidence and inquiry. European Journal of Teacher Education, 31(4), 319337.

L. E. Lukin , D. L. Bandalos , T. J. Eckhout , & K. Mickelson (2005). Facilitating the development of assessment literacy. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practices, 23(2), 2632.

H. W. Marsh , K.-T. Hau , & Z. Wen (2004). In search of golden rules: Comment on hypothesis-testing approaches to setting cutoff values for fit indexes and dangers in overgeneralizing Hu and Bentler's (1999) findings. Structural Equation Modeling, 11(3), 320341.

G. M. Maruyama (1998). Basics of structural equation modeling. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

M. F. Pajares (1992). Teachers' beliefs and educational research: Cleaning up a messy construct. Review of Educational Research, 62(3), pp. 307332.

A. Remesal (2007). Educational reform and primary and secondary teachers' conceptions of assessment: the Spanish instance, building upon Black and Wiliam (2005). The Curriculum Journal, 18, 2738.

A. Remesal (2011). Primary and secondary teachers' conceptions of assessment: Aqualitative study. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27(2), 472482.

B. van den Berg (2002). Teachers' meanings regarding educational practice. Review of Educational Research, 72(4), 577625.

R. J. Vandenberg , & C. E. Lance (2000). A review and synthesis of the measurement invariance literature: Suggestions, practices, and recommendations for organizational research. Organizational Research Methods, 3(4), 470.

D. Wolf , J. Bixby , H. Glenn , & H. Gardner (1991). To use their minds well: Investigating new forms of students' assessment. Review of Research in Education, 17, 3174.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Spanish Journal of Psychology
  • ISSN: 1138-7416
  • EISSN: 1988-2904
  • URL: /core/journals/spanish-journal-of-psychology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 29 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 203 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 28th July 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.