The influence of assessment washback on the student experience of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme.

Smith, J., 2019. The influence of assessment washback on the student experience of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme. EdD, Nottingham Trent University.

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The IB Middle Years Programme (MYP), an international curriculum for students between the ages of 11 and 16, is taught by 1,400 schools across the globe and aspires to embody a constructivist learning model in which students use inquiry to explore their world. Students are encouraged to develop conceptual understandings based on learning experiences that are driven by a statement of inquiry, and apply these understandings to novel situations. At the same time, students are subject to the need for measurement of achievement both by assessment practices within the MYP and, in most MYP schools, the need to prepare students effectively for the high-stakes assessment demands of the IB Diploma Programme (DP). Consequently, assessment practices within the MYP are a contested space in which competing understandings, and ideas about the purposes of assessment, are negotiated.

This research takes the form of an ethnographic study of a group of Year 5 (age 15-16) MYP English Language and Literature students at Bayside College in Hong Kong. It discusses the influence of assessment on the student experience in the MYP, identifying a range of mediating influences that are involved in the process of students attaching meaning to assessment. A series of metaphors is used to depict the complex multiplicity of roles that assessment plays in students’ lives. Finally, several dimensions of washback are identified that speak to the influence of assessment washback on participants. Freirean and Foucauldian theoretical lenses are set against each other to explore the tensions between the emancipatory aspirations of the MYP and the insidious technologies of power in which students are frequently caught up during their schooling.

As a research endeavour in the context of a Professional Doctorate, the study also contributes new understands of the implications, particularly with regard to ethics, of insider/outsider positionality for school leaders conducting research in their own professional setting.

Item Type: Thesis
Description: Abridged version
Creators: Smith, J.
Date: March 2019
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or for personal, non-commercial research. Any reuse of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the owner of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Institute of Education
Record created by: Jeremy Silvester
Date Added: 09 Jul 2020 16:21
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:19

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