Hayford, Samuel Kweku (2008)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This thesis explored the uses of continuous assessment and the experiences of lower attaining pupils in primary and junior secondary schools at Agona and Affutu Districts in Ghana. The study adopted a range of data collection methods including: self-completed questionnaires, semi-structured and focus groups interviews. A systematic sample of 107 primary and junior secondary teachers answered questionnaires and 12 teachers from the cohort were interviewed. Additionally, four focus groups of Primary 6 lower attaining pupils were interviewed. The main findings of the study were: • The majority of the teachers in the study felt strongly that continuous assessment enabled teachers to support lower attaining pupils to improve. • The teachers reported in the interviews that they used the same approach to assess all pupils including lower attainers in classrooms; this caused the pupils to perform poorly and eventually repeat classes. • The teachers identified policy, larger classes and lack of training as barriers to supporting lower attainers to improve. • Lower attaining pupils in the study reportedly became anxious, frustrated, and helpless before and during class tests, and upset when they failed. • They identified difficult tasks, lack of self-regulated learning and supportive environments as barriers to participating in class tests. The findings have implications for policy, practice, research, teacher training and professional development.
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