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Understanding differences in trainee teachers' values and practice in relation to assessment

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This study uses cluster analysis to examine groupings of trainee teachers against dimensions underpinning their values and practice in relation to assessment. Our sample comprised 220 trainees, studying for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, an initial teacher training and education course, at the University of Cambridge, UK. The survey instrument derives from D. Pedder and M. James, and aimed to discover how trainee teachers value and implement different classroom assessment practices in their teaching. Cluster analysis of factor scores from varimax rotated principal components analysis revealed four clusters of trainees in relation to their practice responses, and two clusters in relation to values responses. Similarities and differences between clusters are discussed, as are similarities and differences with corresponding solutions for qualified teachers. Membership of clusters was found to be associated with membership of particular subject disciplines. The implications for initial teacher education and training are discussed.
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Keywords: assessment; cluster analysis; factor analysis; trainee teacher; values

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Cambridge, UK

Publication date: February 1, 2008

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