Grade nine technology teachers' understanding and practice of assessment in technology : a case study in a district of Estcourt.
Mngunikazi, Prudence Sindisiwe.
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Since Technology was introduced as a school subject, Technology teachers in South Africa have been subjected to many changes within the educational field including changes in assessment. Teachers were expected to assess more than just an end product. They were expected to develop and assess the processes and skills, not just the knowledge that learners represented.Literature reviewed reveals that teachers are experiencing challenges when it comes to implementing assessment in Technology.This study explored Grade Nine Technology teachers’ understanding and practice of assessment in Technology. The study provides the nature of understanding and practice that Grade Nine Technology teachers encounter when they implement assessment in their classrooms, especially performance assessment. Performance assessment is an assessment, which is based on real life situations. Hence, appropriate implementation of performance based assessment by Grade Nine Technology teachers should develop learners’ technological skills, knowledge and values so that they will play a great role in improving and sustaining the quality of lives of their societies. The study was located within the interpretive paradigm and qualitative approach.Technology teachers were conveniently and purposively selected because it was easy for the researcher to reach participants who taught at schools close to where the researcher teaches. Three methods of data collection were employed, namely semi-structured interviews, structured participant’s observations and structured questionnaires to gather data from the participants.The theoretical framework used to analyse this study is assessment theory. Assessment theoryprovided me (the researcher) with a framework to gather information on teachers’ understanding and practice of assessment. Teachers can use Barlex’s model (2007) as a framework when assessing learners’ design process when learners are doing a Mini Practical Task (Mini-PAT) for summative and formative assessment purposes. The model has proved to be a useful tool and framework for supporting sound decision making when designing and making productsfor projects in Technology.The findings of the study suggest that assessment in Technology is still a challenge to teachers. The study concluded that Grade Nine teachers are still experiencing challenges when employing performance based assessment and much still needs to be done to empower them.