Toward a Shared Praxis of Assessment: Performance Assessment, Alignment, and Student Learning in the Secondary Social Studies Classroom

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Gurlea, Michael, Education - School of Education and Human Development, University of Virginia
van Hover, Stephanie, CU-Curr Instr & Sp Ed PV-Ctr for Liberal Arts, University of Virginia

This dissertation consists of three manuscripts that explore student learning, assessment practice, and assessment policy in secondary social studies classrooms using qualitative research design. The first manuscript presents a case study of a unit on market structures in an Advanced Placement (AP) Microeconomics classroom. This manuscript investigates student thinking about their own learning on a teacher-constructed end-of-unit test (intended to mirror the AP test) using an analysis of classroom observations and interviews with the teacher and four focal students. The second manuscript focuses on a state-level policy in Virginia which sought to reduce the number of traditional multiple-choice tests students were required to take in middle school social studies and replace them with “local alternative assessments” designed at the division-level. Using document analysis and survey and interview data from division-level coordinators this manuscript explores the macro-level implementation of the policy. Finally, the third manuscript presents a systematic review of the recent empirical literature on large-scale and classroom-based assessment in secondary social studies. The three manuscripts are united by a focus on assessment’s role in the social studies classroom and the ways that teachers, teacher leaders, and students experience large-scale and classroom-based assessment.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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