The relationship between assessment and preparing BEd undergraduate students for the South African school context
The Bachelor of Education (BEd) undergraduate degree at a university in the Gauteng province, South Africa, aims to prepare pre-service teachers by using their experiences to expose them to the South African schooling context. This is done using a scaffolded process that includes formative assessment, summative assessment and Work-Integrated Learning (WIL, also known as teaching experience). This paper describes research findings based on a sequential mixed method design used within a constructivist paradigm to collect data on the role of assessment in pre-service teacher preparation. Eighty participants answered 16 questions on a nominal scale, and from this sample, 8 participants took part in semi-structured, one-on-one interviews. Based on the findings, it was concluded that all types of assessment were beneficial for pre-service teacher preparation as part of an assessment schedule – especially the case with WIL. However, WIL was criticised for not aligning with the current context and for a need to include the realities of paperwork, policies and systems as well as the emotional strain experienced by in-service teachers. The results suggest that by making WIL more authentic could impact pre-service teachers during their careers when deciding whether to remain in the profession.
Keywords: assessment; formative; preparation; pre-service teacher; summative; work-integrated learning
If the article is accepted for publication, copyright of this article will be vested in the Education Association of South Africa.
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