The Use of Self-Assessment to Foster Students' Learning in Teacher Education: An Experience in Teaching Practice

Spring 2009

Source: Action in Teacher Education v. 31 no. 1 (Spring 2009), p. 49-57.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This study examined the effectiveness of self-assessment during teaching practice and determined whether the students, after engaging in the self-assessment process, exhibited changes in their learning and teaching.

Two research questions guided the study:
1) how does self-assessment aid teaching practice?

2) how does the self-assessment process bring about changes in students' teaching and learning practices?


The participants of the study were 47 female in-service student teachers enrolled in the 2-year certificate of education program at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. Teaching practice is a required component of the program, and all students need to complete an 8-week block of practice each year. All participants had taught for more than 5 years before their admission to the program. All participants engaged in a self-assessment process by setting goals, recording evidence, and evaluating their teaching performance.

Questionnaire and focus group interviews were employed to examine the usefulness of the self-assessment and the possible changes in students' learning.

Analysis of the results indicates that students found that self-assessment enhanced their learning during teaching practice, especially in the area of reflective thinking. The self-assessment process helped students to assess the quality of their teaching, and it provided information on which to reflect and plan their next lessons. Students also reported evidence of positive changes in terms of their planning, teaching, and reflection.


This study investigated the extent to which self-assessment facilitates students' learning during teaching practice. It examined how self-assessment helped students reflect on their teaching practice, and it yielded positive answers to the research questions. Given that the Hong Kong Institute of Education continues to espouse assessment innovation, developing self-assessment in teaching practice provides the idea and practice to meet the challenge, and it brings a valuable focus for future research.

Updated: Nov. 18, 2009