Primary school teachers' experiences of implementing assessment policy in social studies in the Kavango region of Namibia

Nyambe, Thomas Nyambe (2015-03)

Thesis (MEd)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to investigate primary school teachers’ experiences of implementing assessment policy in the Social Studies learning area. After adopting the new learner-centred schooling to replace the old teacher-centred education system in Namibian schools in 1990, the Ministry of Education made it mandatory to implement assessment policy in the schools. During the implementation of assessment policy teachers were forced to change their assessment practices from traditional testing and evaluation to continuous assessment. The study employed an interpretive research design to construct data during the exploration of the teachers’ experiences in teaching. Document analysis, lesson observations and in-depth interviews were used to collect the data. One of the main findings of the study is that teachers do not use assessment to inform their own practices, but rather only to record marks. Despite a world trend towards assessment for teaching, assessment, in this case, was only used as an instrument of teaching. It was also found that assessment policies did not take local contextual circumstances of schools and communities into consideration. As a result, of the de-contextualization of these policies, teachers are negatively positioned in the system because they have to adhere to departmental demands and policy prescriptions on the one hand while, on the other, working in contexts that are not conducive to effective teaching. Schools in such contexts therefore, need to be provided with the necessary infrastructure, guidance and support to facilitate the effective implementation of assessment policies.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van hierdie studie was om laerskoolonderwysers se ervarings van die implementering van assesseringsbeleid in die Sosiale Studies leerarea te ondersoek. Na die goedkeuring van die nuwe leerder-gesentreerde onderrig om die ou onderwyser-gesentreerde onderwysstelsel in Namibiese skole in 1990 te vervang, het die Ministerie van Onderwys dit verpligtend gemaak om ʼn nuwe assesseringsbeleid in die skole te implementeer. Onderwysers was dus genoodsaak om hul assesseringspraktyke aan te pas vanaf tradisionele toetsing en evaluering na deurlopende assessering. Die studie het ’n interpretatiewe navorsingsontwerp gebruik om data tydens die verkenning van die onderwysers se ervarings te konstrueer. Dokument-analise, les observasies en in diepteonderhoude is gebruik om data te versamel. Die vernaamste bevindings van die studie is dat opvoeders nie assessering gebruik om hul eie praktyke te informeer nie, maar eerder net op punte op te teken. Ten spyte van ʼn teenoorgestelde wêreld-tendens, was assessering, in hierdie geval, nie aangewend vir onderrig nie, maar slegs van onderrig. Daar is ook bevind dat assesseringsbeleide nie plaaslike teenwerkende kontekstuele omstandighede van skole en gemeenskappe in ag neem nie. As gevolg van die dekontekstualisasie van hierdie beleide, word onderwysers negatief geposisioneer in die stelsel omdat hulle moet uiting gee aan departementele voorskrifte binne kontekste wat nie bevorderlik is vir effektiewe onderrig nie. Daarom moet skole in sodanige kontekste voorsien word van die nodige infrastruktuur asook leiding en ondersteuning ten einde die implementering van assesseringsbeleide meer effektief te maak.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96958
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