Beliefs and attitudes about assessment of a sample of student teachers in South Africa

14 May 2008

The purpose of this study was to take the first steps in a long-term approach to helping South African teachers understand and respond to government demands that they change their assessment practices. Specifically, it attempted to identify the beliefs, perceptions and attitudes about assessment that student teachers bring with them to courses that are designed to equip them to teach in ways that are consistent with current curriculum trends in South Africa. The study attempted to answer the following research questions: are student teachers’ beliefs about assessment consistent with the approaches to assessment advocated in the South African Revised National Curriculum Statement? Are student teachers’ beliefs about assessment consistent with the basic principles of outcomes-based education? The results indicated broad general agreement between student teachers’ beliefs about assessment and the principles of assessment espoused in the Revised National Curriculum Statement. However, there was evidence that the beliefs of some of the subjects were inconsistent with these principles.