04 SES 12 A, Teachers' emotions & perceptions of parents' involvement and diverse classroom-management
Paper/Ignite Talk Session
Nowadays, schools face many issues that arise from the increasing diversity of student population. Teachers teach students characterized by cultural, ethnic, racial and linguistic diversity. According to Valiande et al. (2011) educational systems have failed to fulfill their mediating role and have not found yet the way to be effective for all. Teachers should give students the opportunity to develop and demonstrate their skills as well as their knowledge through a variety of teaching methods (Erwin, 2004) so as to promote democratic and equal paths of high quality learning. Teaching has always being a challenging process. Multicultural societies worldwide in combination with teachers’ efforts to teach in ways that promote democratic and equal paths of high quality learning has been an issue of importance in Government’s educational agendas.
Florian (2008) mentions that the mainstream teacher is an important factor for the success of inclusive education where teachers are called to respond to their students’ diverse academic needs. So just as one size of learning doesn’t fit all, one size of assessment doesn’t suit either. It is important for teachers to use different approaches to adjust the learning (Gregory & Chapman, 2013). For differentiation to be effective it is important for teachers to know for each student, the point from which each student begins and where that student is in the individual journey meeting the criteria of the lesson or unit (Hattie, 2012b). So, in other words, assessment is the stepping stone for daily planning in mixed ability classrooms (Tomlinson & Moon, 2013).
The importance of assessment is highlighted by various experts emphasizing the powerful aspect of the formative and ongoing assessment during the teaching learning process (William, 2011∙ Black & William, 2009). Furthermore a number of experts claim that effective use of formative assessment is among the most powerful classroom tools for contributing to student achievement. According to Black & William (1998) an assessment can be characterized as a formative one “when the evidence is actually used to adapt the teaching to meet students needs.” Finally, formative assessment shall always provide feedback to students as it is important for the learning process (Gregory & Chapman, 2013) as feedback alone, however, doesn’t help students to improve their learning.
The purpose of this piece of research followed is to investigate the importance differentiated instruction through the use of formative assessment in heterogeneous and mixed ability classrooms through the design and implementation of differentiated instruction in Greek Language in elementary setting. This will be followed by an action research process and guided by the following research questions:
1. Does the formative assessment help students participate better in lessons?
2. How does the use of formative assessment strategies followed by differentiated instruction in mixed ability classrooms help teachers grow professionally?
3. Which formative assessment strategies are effective for the specific sample?
The sample of this research project consisted of 25 students of fourth grade of a rural state primary school in Cyprus, aged 9 to 10, 14 boys and 11 girls, 10 students of 25 follow a special Education Programme twice a week. This research is based on action research model with an intervention programme. Data gathered from teacher’s diary and students’ diary, worksheets and videotaped lessons are analysed through qualitative approach. Lessons were followed by differentiated instruction since mixed ability and heterogeneous classrooms challenge educators to use methods and techniques that give students opportunities to evolve according to their qualifications and interests (Vastaki, 2010). The action research project was designed according to the spiral model of Kemnis & McTaggart (1982) in which the educator reflects on his/her pedagogy and plans an action so as to improve his practice. Afterwards the teacher/educator observes the effects of his action and finally he reflects on the effects of his action so as to re-plan further (Townsend, 2013). This action research was conducted by the researcher who was the class teacher at the same time. Action research method was followed by the class teacher, who had both the role of educator and researcher so as to improve the provided education and include all learners in teaching process. Moreover for the above research questions the teacher/researcher throught the instructional process she continuously assessed the learning of students. Students received information in different ways based on their academic readiness, learning profile and personal interests whereas teacher checks student progress to include what the students are learning. During this reflective process the teacher/researcher is able to give immediate feedback to the students, eliminating the obstacles that students meet during the learning process instead of giving them feedback after the lesson or the instruction has been completed. The lessons had been videotaped, firstly, to help the teacher/researcher reflect upon her practice and secondly, to gather data about her ability to offer immediate feedback to students by making constant adjustments throughout learning process. Thirdly, data from students’ reflective diaries compared with videotaped data in order to find out which had been the best formative assessment instructional procedures for the specific sample. For the analysis and the results of this research project data were collected using teachers’/researchers’ reflective diary, students’ diaries, videotaped lessons, lesson plans, students’ worksheets and critical friends conversations and suggestions. Data were analysed through qualitative process.
The findings of this study indicated that assessment for learning is essential, especially formative assessment is very integral to the instructional learning process. This research concluded that when teachers use formative assessment to drive differentiation, student engagement inevitably increases. Ongoing formative assessment during the learning experience keeps the learner on track and drive instructional planning. The teacher’s role therefore is very important in choosing the most efficient assessment tools for each student. For this reason, it’s high time for educators to see assessment through ‘new eyes’. From the data analysis it is concluded that students liked the learning experience with formative assessment as they engaged actively in the learning process as owners of their own learning. Additionally, they didn’t make them feel anxious or ‘no so good students’. They also mentioned that it was important for them to know that the teacher givse them immediate feedback and this helped them to “know how to improve” (Clarke, 2014,p.11.). Students also developed the capacity for self and peer assessment, “creating a classroom culture in which all involved see ability as incremental rather than fixed” (Clarke, 2014,p.11.). Finally, the experience of using formative assessment in Greek Language helped the teacher/researcher to be effective in her teaching since she had reflected on the issue of teaching and learning theory as well as on her practice in order to improve her teaching (Hammerness et al, 2005) and consequently engage all students in learning responding to their individual needs. So, as educators we have to find ways that lead to deeper insights by examining ‘prior belief, assumptions and implications ‘ (Stevens & Cooper, 2012, p. 21). Self-reflection may has the greatest impact on professional development (Lopez-Real & Kwan, 2005) since it is highly connected to teaching effectiveness (LaPrade, Gilpatrick & Perkings, 2014).
Black, P. & William,D. (2009). Developing the theory of formative assessment. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability,v.21,pp. 5-31. Black,P. & William,D. (1998). Assessment and Classroom Learning , Assessment in Education, v.5, p.7-74 Chapman, C. & King, R. (2012). Differentiated Assessment Strategies: One Size Doesn’t Fit All. Corwin. Christenson, B. & Wager, A. (2012). Increasing participation through differentiation. Teaching Children Mathematics, 19 (3), pp. 194 – 200. Erwin, J.C. (2004). The classroom of the choice. Giving students what they need and getting what you want. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Florian, L. (2008). Special or inclusive education: future trends. British Journal of Special Education.vol. 35(4), pp. 202-208. Nunley, K.F. (2003). Giving credit where credit is due. Principal Leadership, 3(9), pp. 26-30.O’Roark, J. (2013). The myth of differentiation in mathematics: Providing maximum growth. The Mathematics Teacher, 107(1), pp. 9-11. Tomlinson, C. A. (2004). The mobius effect: Addressing learner variance in schools. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 37(6), 516-524). Tomlinson, C. A. (1999). The differentiated classroom: responding to the needs of all learners. Alexandria, VA: ASDC. Valiande A. S., Kyriakides, L. & Koutselini , M. (2011). Investigating the Impact of Differentiated Instruction in Mixed Ability Classrooms: It ’s impact on the Quality and Equity Dimensions of Education Effectiveness. International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement.http://www.icsei.net/icsei2011/Full%20Papers/0155.pdf. Vastaki, S.M. (2010). Differentiation in Teaching. Epistimoniko Vima tou Daskalou, 12, pp.121-135.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.