Professional learning community focused on assessment for learning
This mixed methods study explored the questions: To what degree, if any, does the involvement in a structured professional learning community, focused on assessment for learning (AFL), lead to increases in secondary science and math teachers’ reported levels of adoption of assessment for learning strategies; further, what factors did the participating teachers perceive as obstacles or support structures in doing such; finally, how did teachers’ reported attitudes change towards assessment for learning? Seven secondary (Grades 8-12) math and science educators from different schools within the same school district in British Columbia worked together in a structured professional learning community (PLC) over the course of six months. The focus of the PLC was the study and implementation of the Network of Performance Based Schools Six Assessment For Learning Strategies (Halbert & Winter, 2008), adapted from the work of Black & Wiliam (1998). Participants were given an AFL practices rubric at the beginning and at the end of the study to determine the reported level of classroom adoption of the six AFL strategies. Professional learning community participants engaged in structured goal setting and reflection exercises that were recorded in writing. Participants’ reflection logs were reviewed to determine what factors were identified as perceived obstacles or support structures. Teachers were also asked to complete an AFL attitude survey at the beginning and the end of the study to determine if there was a change in attitude towards the AFL strategies. Participants self reported that their attitudes about AFL improved and their use of the six AFL practices increased by the end of the study. Several obstacles were identified by the participants. Limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed along with suggestions for school organization.
Identifier (Other)DOI: 10.25316/IR-143
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