It would appear reasonable to suggest that there have been few innovations in education which have required so much of teachers, in the way of new attitudes and more effective skills of assessment, than Profiling. This thesis consists of a critical account of the development, design, validation and use of an attitude scale which can be used by in-service trainers to gain an initial impression of the attitudes of teachers toward educational assessment and pupil profiling. It is shown that the process of scale construction and validation is of value to an individual concerned with exploring and understanding something of the attitudes of teachers toward an innovation. As a result of an analysis of mean score differences a follow-up study of teachers of Mathematics was initiated to explore why they appeared to score lower than other groups of teachers. The results of this investigation along with an analysis of responses to the scale from all respondents and a series of validation interviews suggests that the scale can be used in a variety of ways. First of all it is suggested that if the scale were administered before in-service training commenced a measure of the attitudes of staff toward pupil profiling and assessment can be obtained. This exercise will provide an outline sketch of the attitudes of the teachers in a school before training commences. Depending on the intensity, orientation and distribution of attitudes the in-service trainer can decide the starting point for a whole school programme of development. Secondly the attitudes of individuals within the school can be identified by the trainer and used to beneficial effect when organising working groups and arranging a more directed in-put. In this sense it functions as an initial training needs analysis. Thirdly the scale does sensitise attitudes and provoke reaction. This is a useful exercise in awareness raising and helping staff to verbalise their attitudes. Again the in-service trainer can respond to such reaction and thereby better direct efforts toward problem areas. Fourthly the scale can be used to gain an impression of attitude change by providing a pre and post training score. The researcher would stress that such score changes need very careful interpretation. In addition to providing a useful in-service training device and permitting the attitudes which teachers hold toward the assessment and profiling of pupils to be made explicit, the research process has contributed to the author's own development as a researcher and this theme permeates the thesis.
|Date of Award||1985|