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Elementary students as active agents in their learning: an empirical study of the connections between assessment practices and student metacognition

Abstract

This study explored how elementary teachers leveraged and structured student-involved formative assessment to promote metacognition and self-regulation. Research has suggested a connection between formative assessment practices (e.g., self-assessment and peer-assessment) and metacognition. However, this connection has limited empirical support, especially within early elementary contexts (i.e. Grades K-4). In this study, 44 Ontario elementary teachers completed a survey reporting their teaching and assessment practices and beliefs about metacognition. Five participants were then purposefully selected for semi-structured interviews to describe their experiences developing students’ metacognition and self-regulatory capabilities through student-involved assessment processes. Data were inductively and thematically analysed. Participants emphasized the value of assessment as learning practices (e.g., self-assessment and reflective thinking) to develop students’ metacognition and discussed the need for ongoing student feedback regarding metacognitive strategies. However, despite purposefully implementing formative assessment to enhance metacognition and self-regulation, participants articulated the need for additional resources to support the cultural shift towards assessment for and as learning within their classrooms.

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Correspondence to Heather Braund.

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Braund, H., DeLuca, C. Elementary students as active agents in their learning: an empirical study of the connections between assessment practices and student metacognition. Aust. Educ. Res. 45, 65–85 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13384-018-0265-z

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13384-018-0265-z

Keywords

  • Classroom assessment
  • Metacognition
  • Elementary education
  • Formative assessment
  • Student agency
  • Self-regulation
  • Assessment for learning
  • Assessment as learning