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Edit Tóth: Teachers’ Assumptions About the National Assessment of Basic Competencies and About the Effect of Those Results on Their Teaching

In the present study, emphasis was placed on examining: (1) what teachers assume about the consequences of the results on the National Assessment of Basic Competencies (NABC); (2) what experience they have in utilizing the results; and (3) how the NABC affects their everyday teaching. In the study, semi-structured interviews were conducted in spring 2012 with teachers of mathematics, Hungarian literature and grammar and other (foreign language and arts) subjects in upper elementary (N=38) and high schools (N=28), with teachers of each subject from each type of school. Due to the free choice of schools, it is assumed that there is a significant stake in the assessment of basic competencies in terms of where parents enrol their children and how those elementary schools are judged. In the case of the high schools under examination, these concerns are not noticeable. On the basis of the answers, the results from the assessment of basic competencies are instrumental in how teachers are evaluated. Some teachers feel that their colleagues and school management assess their work based on the results, and this issue is raised in both formal (e.g. at staff meetings) and informal situations. Interviews conducted with teachers of both mathematics and Hungarian literature and grammar call attention to the fact that the assessment of basic competencies has an effect on the knowledge-related approach, but a sense of uncertainty and perplexity was found among teachers regarding where development was to be put into practice as well as regarding tools and methods. The results from the groups representing the three subject areas under examination all point to the fact that linking the curricula and the fields assessed by the NABC presents some difficulty. Furthermore, it is problematic to plan classroom work because different knowledge is measured in the assessment of basic competencies, the high school entrance examinations and the school-leaving (matura) examinations.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 115. Number 2. 115-138. (2015)

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Magyar Tudományos Akadémia