Pre-service science teachers’ implementation of assessment for students’ learning
The aim of this research was to investigate Singaporean pre-service science teachers’ knowledge of assessment and how they implemented assessment for learning (AforL), or formative assessment, during their practicum teaching. Sixty pre-service science/physics teachers in the post-graduate diploma in education (PGDE) programme participated in this research. The pre-service teachers’ responses to an open-ended questionnaire were collected and analysed to investigate their prior understanding related to formative assessment. Individual reflection pieces written during practicum teaching were analysed to identify the pre-service teachers’ beliefs about formative assessment and their implementation of formative assessment strategies during their teaching practices. The findings indicate that the pre-service teachers believed that the implementation of formative assessment based on constructivist and inquiry-based teaching principles was more effective than other approaches. However, their responses were more negative regarding the implementation of strategies related to formative assessment when the teaching approach included classroom discourse with inquiry. This tendency was possibly due do their inexperience of facilitating students’ discourse using formative assessment strategies. They also reported that discourse approaches, using AforL, are time consuming and/or impractical. Depending on their beliefs about and perceptions of the objectives for students’ learning, the pre-service science teachers reflected differently on their practicum practices.