• Chang-Hua Chen
  • Michele D. CrockettEmail author
  • Takayuki Namikawa
  • Johndamaseni Zilimu
  • Sun Hee Lee


In this qualitative case study, the researchers explored 3 8th grade teachers’ formative assessment practices as it occurred during their mathematics instruction at socioeconomic status (SES)-different schools in Taiwan. Instructionally embedded formative assessment we refer to as discourse-based assessment practice (DAP). In Taiwan, there is a large mathematics achievement gap among high SES and low SES and minority students in 8th grade. Addressing this issue at the level of classroom practice, we attempt to document teachers’ DAP using a parsimonious, but practical framework for analyzing classroom discourse in 23 lessons. For the purpose of this study, 3 lessons for each teacher are represented. The extended sequence (Mehan, 1979) was the primary unit of analysis, to which we applied our framework for illuminating and differentiating the teachers’ press for student understanding through questions and feedback. The analysis of the teacher’s instruction at the high SES indicated that it was more formative than the others, pressing for mathematical understanding. The 2 teachers at the low SES schools pressed for rote understanding, though there were qualitative differences between them. The findings raise more questions and implications for research and education policy. In Taiwan where there is scant research on classroom practices, DAP as an instructional improvement may be a starting point for educational improvement for all its students.

Key words

aboriginal students discourse-based assessment equity formative assessment mathematics teaching minority students Taiwan education policy 


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Copyright information

© National Science Council, Taiwan 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chang-Hua Chen
    • 1
  • Michele D. Crockett
    • 1
    Email author
  • Takayuki Namikawa
    • 1
  • Johndamaseni Zilimu
    • 1
  • Sun Hee Lee
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Curriculum and InstructionUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA

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