What Educators Learn When They Evaluate Students
Many reports emphasize that the main aim of education reform has been improved student performance. Reform efforts have focused on curricula content, the professional development of educators, the development of non-traditional teaching and assessment methods and giving parents more choice in their children's educational experiences. Yet, after 20 years of reforms, it remains unclear what actually works to raise student achievement. Student achievement is measured using different types of assessments. Because they use the results of these assessments to evaluate their students, and have evaluation information available to them, educators are able to learn from the process of evaluating their students. Q methodology was used to investigate such 'process use' and to understand how educators gain lessons from the evaluation process that can contribute to the success of education initiatives. The four perspectives which emerged were shaped by student qualities, the educators' relationships with their stakeholders, the relationships among colleagues, the purpose or stakes associated with the evaluation activity, the relationships among the stakeholders in the teaching context and the assessment approach employed.