Pre-service EFL Teachers' Conceptions of Assessment During Their Teaching Practicum
Teacher education programs across the globe include a practicum as a required part of their curriculum. The practicum is also viewed as a gateway between theoretical and practical aspects of teaching, enabling prospective teachers to acquire the specific skills and approaches they will need in the classroom. Teaching practicum also provides pre-service EFL teachers with the opportunity to put their assessment knowledge into practice. During the teaching practicum, pre-service EFL teachers may encounter extraordinary changes. This study reports on their conceptions of assessment during the teaching practicum. Some contextual factors shaping their conceptions are also observed. By utilizing a mixed-method study, this study adopted a model of participant selection. In this case, the quantitative method is carried out before the qualitative method. The quantitative data was used to identify participants for the qualitative portion of this mixed-methods study. The results showed that the participants agreed that the main objective of an assessment is to enhance the process of teaching and learning and to validate the students’ and schools’ accountability. Some factors, such as school assessment culture, national assessment policy, and classroom reality, are revealed as contextual factors influencing their conceptions of assessment during their teaching practicum. The findings imply that governments, policymakers, and curriculum developers must collaborate with educators to achieve common goals. The national and school assessment policy must be created in a manner that avoids conflict between pre-service EFL teachers’ beliefs and practices.
Keywords: conceptions of assessment; teaching practicum, pre-service EFL teachers
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