Profiles of Teacher Grading Practices: Integrating Teacher Beliefs, Course Criteria, and Student Characteristics
KeywordsHigh school grading practices
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe majority of the research on grading practices thus far examines teachers' perceived grading practices through Likert-type surveys and vignettes regarding generic students. This study is unique because it proposes a more systematic method of qualitative inquiry to examine how teachers perceive grading on an individual student basis by asking questions regarding specific student performance/behavior on a sample of graded course tasks. No available study has focused on individual students in such a way. The overarching focus of the study is to examine actual students' data in relationship to their respective teacher's beliefs and practices.The purpose of this study is to examine the degree to which four sources of evidence: (1) course descriptions and policies (teacher); (2) grading beliefs (vignettes); (3) perceived grading practices (Likert-scale); (4) student characteristics (student) converge from a qualitative perspective.Fifteen high school teachers from four school districts completed an online grading questionnaire. The Wiley Grading Questionnaire (WGQ) consists of two main parts: (1) course policies and student characteristics; and (2) general grading beliefs. Part I requires teachers' gradebooks and syllabi. Part II measures teacher beliefs and perceived grading practices using Brookhart's (1993) grading vignettes, a 19-item 6-point Likert-scale survey adapted from McMillan (2001), and a combination of open-ended and forced-choice items on the WGQ.Teachers considered non-achievement variables more in their grading decisions in response to the vignettes than they reported in the other sources of evidence. Non-achievement factor considerations were more evident in the effort scenarios; namely a low-ability/low-achiever bias. The vignettes provided the highest level of abstraction, but they largely categorized teachers as either excluding non-achievement factors or including them for certain types of students, usually the low ability or low achiever. Further descriptions and implications are discussed.
Degree ProgramGraduate College