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Elementary Teachers' Classroom Assessment and Grading Practices

James H. McMillan, Steve Myran and Daryl Workman
The Journal of Educational Research
Vol. 95, No. 4 (Mar. - Apr., 2002), pp. 203-213
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27542381
Page Count: 11
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Elementary Teachers' Classroom Assessment and Grading Practices
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Abstract

The authors investigated the assessment and grading practices of over 900 Grades 3—5 teachers representing urban, suburban, and rural schools. Teachers indicated the extent to which they used various factors to grade students, the types of assessments used, the cognitive level of assessments, and the grades awarded. Teachers appeared to conceptualize 6 major factors when they graded students; they placed the greatest weight on academic performance and academic-enabling behaviors, such as effort and improvement, and much less emphasis on homework, comparisons with other students, grade distributions of other teachers, and borderline cases. The teachers used 3 types of assessments—constructed-response, objective, and teacher-made major examinations; they differentiated between recall and higher level cognitive skills. However, there were few relationships between assessment and grade level, subject matter assessed, and grades awarded. Results are discussed in light of other research, indicating that teachers use a "hodgepodge" of factors when assessing and grading students.

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