Cho, Jung Ran and Ratcliffe, Mary
Assessment of scientific enquiry: a comparative study of two high achieving countries (Korea and England).
In, National Association for Research in Science Teaching Conference, San Francisco, USA,
03 - 06 Apr 2006.
Along with TIMSS (Third International Mathematics and Science Study), this study shows both commonalities and differences in the National Curricula, assessment and teachers’ perceptions, in depth. Teachers in both Korea and England indicate that assessment dominates their teaching. They show similarities in the way they say they would prepare their pupils for specific assessment items.
Through the documentary analysis, Korean students show consistently higher achievement than their English counterparts in international comparison tables. However, content and assessment in England more fully reflect the aims of the curriculum. In Korea there is less consistency between the aims and content of the curriculum and assessment. In addition, the standardized assessments in England assess a more varied range of a student’s abilities. For example, the English KS3 tests show a wider spectrum using Klopfer’s specifications whilst Korean tests reflect a narrower spectrum. Using Bloom’s taxonomy, Korean tests are shown to contain higher cognitive ability questions.
The results of surveying teachers in both countries, reflects the documentary analysis. The Korean teachers express dissatisfaction about the Korean National Curriculum and assessment as well as being less-confident in teaching scientific enquiry although the Korean students showed better performance in the TIMSS-2003. The opinion of perceptions of teachers from both countries are more similar than findings from documentary analysis of their National Curriculum and assessment tests would suggest.
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