Towards an understanding of teacher judgement in the context of social moderation
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Social moderation involves teachers gathering together to discuss their judgements of the quality of student work and to reach agreement regarding the standard awarded. This qualitative study conducted over a three-year period investigated the social practice of moderation and the influence on teachers' judgements of students' work. An initial survey of teachers' understandings of moderation and standards, pre- and post-interviews of teachers who participated in the moderation meetings, observations of these meetings with a particular focus on one teacher (focus teachers) comprised the data collection methods. Data analysis involved organising, matching, coding, identifying patterns and themes using a constant comparative method. Socio-cultural theories of learning and assessment underpinned the approach to data analysis and proved helpful in explaining the diverse influences on teachers' judgements beyond the task criteria, and the progressive development of shared understandings through engaging in professional discussions of students' work. The study revealed that the process is not clear and linear and is influenced by factors such as the representation of the standards and the knowledge base of the teachers.
Education Assessment and Evaluation