The effect of high-stakes examination systems on teacher beliefs: Egyptian teachers' conceptions of assessment

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English Language Instruction Dept (ELI)

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Research Article

Publication Title

Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice

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Egypt is currently attempting to introduce a greater formative use of assessment while maintaining a public examination system. This study investigates teacher beliefs about the purposes of assessment in Egypt, using the Teachers' Conceptions of Assessment (TCoA) inventory. The TCoA inventory elicits responses about four main factors: Improvement, School Accountability, Student Accountability and Irrelevance. A large sample of (n = 507) Egyptian pre-service and in-service teachers completed an Arabic version of the TCoA inventory. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to test the Egyptian teachers' responses against the pre-existing New Zealand model, which was found to be inadmissible. Consequently, an ecologically rational three-factor model was found. The model yielded a strong positive relationship between Improvement and Student Accountability, consistent with previous studies. It is argued that greater changes to the examination system are required if teacher beliefs are expected to be more positive about the priority of formative, improvement-oriented uses of assessment. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

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