Understanding teacher knowledge of the use of assessment for learning in the context of homework
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The researcher conducted a qualitative study to develop a deeper understanding of teacher perceptions use, and understanding of homework as a formative assessment tool. The work of Black et al. (2004), Moss and Brookhart (2009), Stiggins et al. (2006) provided a lens to improve understanding of formative assessment. Cooper (2007), Kohn (2006), and Vatterott (2009) provided a lens to improve understanding of homework. Participants were teachers from three Midwestern high schools in one Midwestern state. Data were collected from focus group interviews, an online open-ended survey, and document analysis. All segments of the participants identified three categories as related to perception, use, and understanding homework as a formative assessment tool: teacher perception of the purpose of homework, the uses of homework as part of classroom assessment practice, and teacher understanding of homework as a formative assessment tool. The findings of this study have implications for teachers and administrators. One of the findings of this study was teachers formulate their perception of homework on assumptions embedded in educational culture. The other important finding was the lack of understanding of formative assessment and homework as formative assessment. Implications for future practice include recommendations for school leaders to take the lead in providing organizational learning, utilize the principles of transformational leadership, and be a provider of professional development in the areas of assessment. Implications for future research include recommendations for gaining an understanding of teacher attitudes before and after professional development in assessment, how effective change is achieved in the area of assessment, and student attitudes toward education in classroom which employ formative assessment versus those who do not.