Date of Award

Fall 12-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning


Curriculum and Instruction

Committee Director

Angela Eckhoff

Committee Member

Judith Dunkerly-Bean

Committee Member

Laura Smithers


Research has acknowledged the importance of the beliefs of educators and how their beliefs have implications impacting their classroom practices (Clark, 1987; Doyle 1997; Zhou & Urhahne, 2018; Graham & Pajares, 1997). Teachers’ beliefs have been a significant topic for researchers due to the contribution they provide for the development of teaching and learning (Gilakjani & Sabouri, 2017). Above all, with increasing attention on teacher quality and effectiveness internationally there has been little research looking at the influences between teachers’ classroom practices and their judgments on student learning (Devine, Fahie, & McGillicudy, 2013).

Further research may benefit teachers who are searching for guidance when using and interpreting data from testing to develop appropriate feedback and scaffolding strategies (Zimmerman & DiBenedetto, 2008). Such strategies include formative assessment practices which have been shown to enhance student achievement but there is evidence suggesting teachers are lacking the support needed for implementing strategies successfully (Andersson & Palm, 2018). Additionally, the strategies providing a deep relationship between data collected by the teacher on student performance and feedback forms the center of formative assessment (Clark, 2011). It is with this interaction between collected data and feedback that teachers begin to understand student work and seek to support student learning by adjusting classroom instruction, encouraging students to articulate their motives, ideas, and beliefs (Clark, 2011).

The purpose of conducting this research is to provide an in depth analysis of the perspectives, experiences, and beliefs teachers have on formative assessment classroom practices. Furthermore, to examine the importance of understanding the nature of the relationship between knowledge or beliefs on the one hand and teacher behavior on the other, as well as that between belief and knowledge themselves (Pajares, 1992). That is, examining the teachers’ perspectives on formative assessment with the purpose of improving current educational practices educators’ decisions about classroom best practices are the gateway to move forward.

Today’s mission is that schools will empower all students, not just a few, to learn challenging skills to higher levels of constructs which is a challenging expectation for schools (Darling-Hammond, 2010). It is proposed that in order to obtain such goals to increase student achievement, recognizing the use of formative assessment for teachers is a means to improve educational decisions resulting in quality instruction. This demands that skillful teaching and opportunities where students can experience a coherent curriculum that allows them to learn essential concepts while developing strong thinking skills are adherent (Darling-Hammond, 2010).

This study proposes that teachers’ foundational beliefs about the practice of formative assessments impact the learning process. This study aims to develop an understanding of teacher perspectives on assessment practices when using formative assessments as an influence in classroom pedagogy practices (Raths, 2001). Furthermore, formative assessment practices used to develop instruction enhancing student’s learning is made clear and accessible through active participation and mutual discourse between teacher and student (Clark, 2011). It is through this construct of teachers actively involving students in their learning that formative assessment has progressed as an effective strategy (Mitra, 2004; Damani, 201.


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