This thesis reports the findings of research carried out as part of the programme: Observational research and classroom learning evaluation, based at Leicester University and the subsequent development and evaluation of in-service activities as part of a B.Ed. (Hons) in-service programme. The study addresses the following questions relating to the development of new forms of assessment.\ud a) Can valid and reliable assessments of the performance of pupils be made in areas of the curriculum which are not amenable to measurement by standardised tests, by the provision of criteria for assessment in terms of observable pupil behaviours and structures classroom activities in which to observe these behaviours?\ud b) Do teachers make valid and reliable assessments of pupil performance in areas of the curriculum not amenable to measurement by standardised tests?\ud c) If teachers are unable to make valid and reliable assessments of pupils what are the factors contributing to their judgements of pupil performance in such areas?\ud d) What is the relationship between pupil performance in those areas of the curriculum not assessed by standardised tests and other pupil characteristics such as age, sex, social class, attainment in basic skills, pupil type and teaching style?\ud e) Does in-service education affect the quality of teachers’ assessments by the provision of appropriate information skills to facilitate assessment of pupil performance in areas other than those tested by standardised achievement tests?\ud The results of the study indicate that the structured activities provided reasonably valid measures of pupil performance on study skills dimensions of questioning, sequencing, comprehension, originality and appropriateness. However, teachers’ assessments were found to be subject to a number of sources of invalidity. Pupil performance was also found to vary by sex and age on aspects of the structured activities and teaching style influences were noted. The study of in-service provision raised questions regarding the processes and outcomes of teacher professional learning in the current climate of accountability and advocacy of teacher self-evaluation
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