Assessment of student development and learning in PYP schools (2016)

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Dianne Toe, Josephine Lang, Louise Paatsch, Bonnie Yim, Wendy Jobling, Brian Doig and George Aranda—School of Education, Deakin University

The aim of this study is to examine how International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) schools define the purpose of educational assessment in their assessment policies and practices. Educational assessment in this study is broadly defined to include standardized tests, and formative and summative assessment. This investigation offers a deeper understanding of the assessment cultures of eight PYP schools and provides insights into the current assessment literacy of teachers. The researchers employed a multiple case-study approach, with two phases of data collection: an online survey of teachers and detailed teacher focus groups and coordinator interviews to follow-up on themes identified in the survey. Assessment in the PYP case-study schools was described as holistic and ongoing, and involved a wide range of assessment strategies. Assessment as learning, however, emerged as an approach still in development in the schools. Teachers enthusiastically supported the development of learner profile attributes, although assessing progress in any particular attribute was regarded as challenging. Finally, while teacher feedback and student self-assessment were common practices, teachers were more equivocal about peer assessment. The authors conclude the report with a number of recommendations for further improving PYP assessment practices.

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