Investigating high school chemistry teachers' perceptions, knowledge and practices of classroom assessment
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Limited studies have been conducted about using assessment to support chemistry teaching. Therefore, the purpose of this case study was threefold: a) to investigate high school chemistry teachers' perceptions of classroom assessment, b) to reveal their assessment knowledge, and c) to examine their assessment practices during their instruction of atomic structure and electron configuration. Four inservice chemistry teachers participated in this study. Semi-structured interviews, a pre-survey, observations, field notes, and artifacts were employed as data sources. Study findings indicated that, in theory, all of the participants' perceptions and knowledge of assessment aligned with current views of assessment to support learning and instruction. However, in the practical realm, the participants demonstrated varying degrees of sophistication of assessment use while teaching atomic structure and electron configuration. Based on the results, I suggest a model for chemistry teacher assessment practices, which is organized around three main components: a) teaching approach, b) assessment decision-making, and c) assessment design, practice, and reflection and action on assessment results. The contribution of this study lies in its exemplifications of assessment literacy in practice and is unique in offering empirically based characterizations of assessment literacy at various levels thus proposing a preliminary model for teachers and researchers. Based on the findings, the study concludes with a discussion of its contribution and implications for preparation of assessment-literate prospective and novice teachers, improvement of inservice teachers' assessment practices, and ways for researchers and educators to develop means to support science teachers' assessment literacy.
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