High Stakes Testing and Student Perspectives on Teaching and Learning in the Republic of Ireland
Item Type:Journal Article
Citation:Smyth, Emer; Banks, Joanne, High Stakes Testing and Student Perspectives on Teaching and Learning in the Republic of Ireland, Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 24, 4, 2012, 283 - 306
JACB201248.pdf (Accepted for publication (author's copy) - Peer Reviewed) 178.2Kb
There is now a well developed literature on the impact of high stakes testing on teaching approaches and student outcomes. However, the student perspective has been neglected in much research. This article draws on a mixed method longitudinal study of secondary students in the Republic of Ireland to explore the impact of two sets of high stakes examinations on student experiences. The analyses are based on surveys completed by 897 lower secondary students and 748 upper secondary students, along with 47 lower secondary and 53 upper secondary group interviews with students. Findings show the presence of impending high stakes exams results in increased workload for students, with many reporting pressure and stress. Throughout their schooling career, students clearly favour active learning approaches. However, for some students, particularly high-aspiring middle-class students, these views change as they approach the terminal high stakes exam, with many showing a strong preference for a more narrowly focussed approach to exam preparation. This article highlights how students shift from a position of critiquing exam-focused teaching methods as inauthentic to accepting such methods as representing `good teaching?.
Type of material:Journal Article
Series/Report no:Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability;
Availability:Full text available