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

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

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.

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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: gt.brown@auckland.ac.nz
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