Caldone, D. R. (2021). The tensions of teacher assessment identity: What secondary teachers think, do, and learn from experience (Publication No. 28543654) [Doctoral dissertation, Robert Morris University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. https://www.proquest.com/docview/2544895859
Robert Morris University (Moon Township, PA); ProQuest document ID: 2544895859
Teachers' assessment practices for students in general, including their application of accommodations (none specified) for students with accommodations needs, were examined across a large suburban public school district; this summary emphasizes details about accommodations perceptions and practices for classroom and state assessments.
Survey respondents were 131 educators from secondary schools—middle schools and high schools—across public school districts in an suburban county outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (U.S.). Demographics such as gender, as well as teaching experience, content area, and grade level taught, were reported. Twelve (12) of these educators served as interviewees, providing additional descriptive qualitative details to elaborate on the survey's quantitative results. The researcher indicated that the interview data represented the broader survey data on assessment practices.
Data were collected with a survey and an interview protocol, and were analyzed to describe teachers' perceptions and accommodations practices. The survey incorporated items on teacher demographics and experience, as well as items from two research-based surveys. One survey was the Teachers’ Conceptions of Assessment (TCoA) instrument (Brown, 2006, 2008), modified by the researcher with permission. These 27 survey items yielded information that fit with the dimensions of assessment purpose, process, and fairness. Practices around accommodations were addressed in all three dimensions. The Approaches to Classroom Assessment Inventory (ACAI; Coombs et al., 2018) also provided data as a component of the study survey, with 60 items in total, 12 items on each of five scenarios. Several items addressed accommodations practices, including in two scenarios. The interviews which contributed to the case study incorporated 11 questions on teacher assessment identity components of Practice, Influential Context, Conception, and Knowledge. The questions pertained to classroom assessments, and did not specifically address accommodations; however, interviewees commented on accommodations practices.
[This summary emphasizes findings on accommodations perceptions and practices, which was part of a broader investigation of teacher assessment identity.] Teachers perceived that they have had relative ease in providing accommodations during classroom assessments, and indicated relative difficulty in ensuring students' access (through accommodations) to the state assessments. When asked about their accommodations practices, survey respondents averaged relatively strong agreement (4=agree; 6=strongly agree) on applying various accommodations practices, including consistently providing accommodations across all assessment tasks (mean=4.97), incorporating accommodations in classroom comprehensive assessments (mean=4.96). However, respondents indicated less concurrence on other related practices, such as communicating with parents on the purpose of accommodations (mean=3.86), and considering student needs and accommodations in relation to policies (mean=3.15). Of the components of assessment purpose, assessment process, and assessment fairness, accommodations practices were only, and most closely, associated with fairness. Interview responses pertaining to practices such as differentiating assessments based on needs of students were also associated with the importance of accommodations. Of nine overall study findings, accommodations were addressed in at least two areas. Limitations of the study were reported, and future research possibilities were suggested.