Teachers’ Perceptions of Assessments of Their Mathematical Knowledge in A Professional Development Course

Nov. 25, 2008

Source: Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, Volume 11, Number 6 / November, 2008, pages 435-457

This article presents a project aimed to evaluate how assessing teachers’ mathematical knowledge within a professional development course impacted from the teachers’ perspective their learning and their experience with the course. The professional development course consisted of a 2-week summer institute and the content focus was geometry. The authors had decided to assess the mathematical learning of the teachers during this professional development course for various accountability reasons. However, the authors were concerned about possible negative by-products of this decision on the teachers and their participation. Thus, they worked to design assessment in ways that they hoped would minimize negative impacts and maintain a supportive learning environment. In addition, the authors undertook this evaluation to examine the impacts of the assessment, which included homework, quizzes, various projects, and an examination for program evaluation.

17 grade 5–9 teachers enrolled in the course participated in the study by completing written reflections and by describing their experiences in interviews. The authors learned that while their original intent was “to do no harm,” the teachers reported that their learning was enhanced by the assessment.
The article concludes by describing the various properties of the assessments that the teachers identified as contributing to their learning of the geometry content, many of which align with current recommendations for assessing and evaluating grade K-16 mathematics students.

Updated: Feb. 04, 2009