Revisiting the dimensions of teacher beliefs in assessment: The Philippine context

Year: 2018


Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The strong focus of professional development and practice on teacher assessment literacy (AL) is due to its strong theoretical and empirical support (Black & Wiliam, 1999; Hattie, 2008; Popham, 2009; Wiliam, 2017). However, despite the advance conceptualisation of this construct, teachers’ assessment practices remain relatively low (Davison & Michell, 2014) largely because some teachers’ beliefs in assessment is incoherent to the principles of effective assessment practices. This is evident in the current assessment reform in the Philippines, which has not gained significant traction despite the ongoing professional development programs on enhancing teacher assessment literacy. We argue that to change teachers’ exam-dominated assessment practices towards a more student-centred approach, there is a need to explore teachers’ beliefs in assessment. There are available tools to measure teacher’s belief in assessment, but there are issues related to their application in Philippine context (Hailaya & Alagami, 2014). Hence, we developed a context-driven tool that could measure this construct, and which the results could inform professional development program.
            We used the theoretical approach (Bryman, 2016) in tool development and engaged 10 teachers, 3 principals and two education supervisors in focus group interviews to explore their assessment beliefs. The results, along with our literature review, were used to develop a 6-point Likert scale to measure the construct. The tool has undergone a series of validation and pilot testing to establish its initial psychometric properties. In the main study, 568 teachers responded to the invitation. The data set was randomly split into two subsets for exploratory factor analysis and for confirmatory factor analysis. The most parsimonious model of Philippine teacher assessment beliefs extracted, determined through the conventional indexes of assessing model fit, is composed of nine primary factors: assessment (1) for professional learning, (2) for motivation, (3) for measurement, (4) for planning, (5) for engagement, (6) for learning, (7) for evaluation, (8) for norm-referencing and (9) for instructional accountability; with two higher order factors. Factors 1, 4 and 9 load significantly to a higher-factor, G1 assessment for teacher development, while Factors 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8 load significantly to a higher-order factor, G2 assessment for student development. This model gives a more comprehensive way of theorising this construct and could enhance the discourse around teacher professional development in the Philippines. Implications of these dimensions for teacher professional development, practice and further studies are discussed.