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Classroom Assessment: Tensions and Intersections in Theory and Practice


by Susan Brookhart 2004

The practice of classroom assessment occurs at the intersection of three teaching functions: instruction, classroom management, and assessment. Theory relevant to studying classroom assessment comes from several different areas: the study of individual differences (e.g., educational psychology, theories of learning and motivation), the study of groups (e.g., social learning theory, sociology), and the study of measurement (e.g., validity and reliability theory, formative and summative assessment theory). This article explores how intersections of these areas have played out in the classroom assessment literature over the last 20 years. Some literature has emphasized one practical function or theoretical tradition; some literature has blended several. Overlapping theoretical traditions are opportunities both for richness of understanding and for tensions and conflicts.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 106 Number 3, 2004, p. 429-458
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11523, Date Accessed: 10/18/2017 1:50:49 AM

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About the Author
  • Susan Brookhart
    Duquesne University
    E-mail Author
    SUSAN M. BROOKHART is an educational consultant and adjunct professor at Duquesne University. Her research specialty is classroom assessment. Recent publications include the theme article for the Winter, 2003, special issue of Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice on measurement theory for classroom assessment and a textbook on grading intended to help preservice and in-service teachers understand assessment and grading practices.
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