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Education: Critical Reflection of Articles, Research Paper Example

Pages: 7

Words: 1933

Research Paper

Introduction

The three articles selected for this critical reflection areTeachers developing assessment for learning: impact on student achievement,’ ‘The complexity of teachers’ conceptions of assessment: tensions between the needs of schools and students,’ and ‘Looking East: Shanghai, PISA 2009 and the reconstitution of reference societies in the global education policy field.’ The reflection will encompass a summary of each article; an exploration of research techniques applied in each article; identification of criteria used in judging the research quality; defining how ethical dilemmas were addressed and implications.

Teachers developing assessment for learning:

Impact on student achievement

Summary

Authors of this article contend that there is an increased use of formative assessment, which has proved very effective in improving learning quality. This development has been attributed to the pressure placed on schools to produce higher student scores at externally – set tests.

The aim of this study was clearly identified being to evaluate the significance of classroom tests on student learning needs. In this study the accomplishment of secondary students was assessed. They sat in classrooms with teachers who utilized formative evaluation strategies as methods in determining their level of receptivity and earning quality. Twenty- four teachers were involved in the study. A six month exploration of formative evaluation approaches in six pilot schools was undertaken (Wiliam, Lee, Harrison & Black, 2004).

The study began in September 1999 when teachers instituted research plans. The program was designed to evaluate attainment before the formative testing began and assess the effect of class size on learning after. A comparative group was created whereby an equivalent class was instructed. It was conducted the previous year with the same teachers. A mean effect size related to the intervention was rated at 0.32. These researchers reviewed literature, but they were not very current. From the review it was concluded that formative assessment execution in schools was a difficult task to undertake. They were no short cuts to fixing issues identified. Therefore, thoroughness in planning strategies and recruitment of the best expertise is very significant to success (Wiliam, et.al 2004).

Research Coherence

The research strategy encompassed removing away from the traditional techniques of telling teachers what to do in a research project. Instead they collaborated with them. Traditional research procedures were found to undermine the purpose of studies in themselves when teachers have to function according to a script instead of being given opportunities to express innovations. However, at first when the study began teachers were apprehensive towards the model thinking that the researchers were violating their practice. With careful explanations they became cooperative later (Wiliam, et.al 2004).

Therefore, the research design seemed rather simplistic. The guiding variables were formative evaluation, student learning, student attainment, classroom size, and teacher competence in delivery of instructions. No definite research questions were identified, but the aim of this study suggests that researchers were interested in proving the effectiveness of formative evaluation on classroom instruction and whether the size had any relationship to students’ attainment levels. There were no ethical dilemmas in this study with regards to conclusion along with the chosen methodology (Wiliam, et.al 2004).

The implications for teaching of mathematics are that teachers have been trained and have experience in their particular subject areas. When it comes to formative evaluation in specific subject areas teachers must be allowed to explore their unique potential in transforming classrooms to enhance students’ ability to learn better.
The complexity of teachers’ conceptions of assessment:

Tensions between the needs of schools and students

Summary

The authors of this research advanced that the conception teachers have of assessment are very significant to their role of designing curriculum for practice. In this study the researchers applied a phenomenograhic approach in examining the types of assessment ascribed to a sample of students drawn from the population. Twenty-six teachers from New Zealand schools were utilized in this study. In discussing the results seven purposes were applied. They were ‘compliance, external reporting, reporting to parents, extrinsically motivating students, organizing group instruction, teacher use for individualizing learning, and joint teacher-student use for individualizing learning ‘ ((Harris & Brown, 2009, p 366).).

From this study it was revealed that the conceptions held by teachers concerning assessment were complex. They were described differently aligning to various purposes. Divergent stakeholder interests were recommended when students were being selected for programs This was to ensure alignment with society’s goals, school objectives and students interests . These were essential criteria worth taking into consideration. More importantly, the data showed strong tension among teachers students and schools due to conflict of interests with respect to specific needs of each entity (Harris & Brown, 2009).

Research Coherence

This research design was unique. No specific research questions or hypothesis could have been identified. Sampling techniques adopted were specific and appeared to be purposive due to the nature of the study. Purposive sampling techniques are related qualitative research techniques. It could not have been identified what type of research method was utilized with respect to qualitative or quantitative. However, since no statistics were applied in explaining and analyzing data it can be concluded that the phenomenograhic research approach was a qualitative methodology (Harris & Brown, 2009).

Questionnaire instrument was identified as the data collection tool and survey the procedure. Traditional means of data analysis was conducted involving manual coding and categorizing of data (Saladana, 2012). Implications of these results are that school policies should give more attention to building better relationships between students’ interests and teachers’ desires so that alignment of goals and resolution of conflicts could be facilitated. The implication of the research in relation to my project is for me to be more definitive in the type of research methodology that should be selected. There are two scientific methods of research encompassing numerous designs. The strength of a researcher as well as the project lay in choosing the best method and compatible design (Denzin & Lincoln, 2011).

Looking East: Shanghai, PISA 2009 and the reconstitution of

Reference societies in the global education policy field

Summary

This study explored exceptional performance among students in Shanghai, China with respect to PISA 2009 impact on National systems within the global education community policy framework. Attempts are made by OECD’s PISA to facilitate constituting of a global space within the school system for performance of this initiative. Much success has been reported from pilot projects conducted in China. These techniques have been tested in United States of America, Australia and England. In this study the researchers combined data retrieved from an estimated 30 research interviews with policy executors at OECD, IEA and within

Australia and England school systems. Next they conducted a policy document analysis inclusive of speeches and media coverage. Conclusions were that Shanghai’s performance at PISA 2009 shocked the world turning education attention away from Finland (Sellar & Lingard, 2013).

Research Coherence

Data collection was a mixed process of interviews along with review of documents/documentaries. While the report was one emerging from a research it was presented as an expert opinion with no display of data charts or statistics relating how they arrived at their conclusions that the PISA 2009 was a model policy and how Shanghai, China shocked the world. The implication of this study is its international significance in raising educational standards across the globe.

Conclusion

These three articles were given expert reflection recognizing their limitations in application educational research techniques which were not fully articulated in each study. While they provided ample research ideas it cannot be concluded that they have met the criteria for advanced research work in comparable sciences and disciplines. For example, clarification as to whether ethical requirements were met in conducting the studies remained obscure.

References

Denzin, N. & Lincoln, Y. (2011). The SAGE Handbook of qualitative research (4th ed.). Los Angeles: Sage Publications

Harris, L., & Brown, G. (2009) The complexity of teachers’ conceptions of assessment: tensions between the needs of schools and students, Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 16(3); 365-381

Saladana, J. (2012). The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers. Sage Sellar, S., & Lingard, B. (2013) Looking East: Shanghai, PISA 2009 and the reconstitution of reference societies in the global education policy field, Comparative Education, 49(4); 464-485

Wiliam , D. Lee , C. Harrison, C., & Black, P (2004) Teachers developing assessment for learning: impact on student achievement, Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 11(1); 49-65

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