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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Teacher Assessment Grades and the Student-Teacher Relationship

Duffy, Kate (2022) Teacher Assessment Grades and the Student-Teacher Relationship. In: UoS Centre for Research in Education - seminar series, 14 December 2022, University of Sunderland. (Unpublished)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


During the COVID pandemic, the UK Government passed the responsibility of judging ‘high-stakes’ assessment in secondary and further education to the teachers when externally assessed examinations were not possible. The assessment reform movements used this as a platform to re-imagine the nature and purpose of student assessment activity. What was limited in the discourse was the significance and importance of the student-teacher relationship within assessment practice and its potential effect upon student success in education (Noddings 2003, 2015, Gilligan 1982, Campbell 2003, Sidorkin & Bingham 2010, 2022). The aim of this study was to understand the ways in which the teacher-student relationship changed during this time. Our research questions aimed to understand what the nature of the student-teacher relationship was during high-stakes teacher assessment and how this could contribute to the debate about the future of assessment practice in the UK education system. This study captured the views of 38 teachers, during the period of high-stakes assessment (2021), to understand how they felt the shift in their role was affecting the student-teacher relationship. The study used phenomenology (Titchen & Hobson 2011) to capture their views in real time, and analysis of critical incidents (Alm & Colnerud, 2015) to understand the factors and issues involved in building or maintaining relations with students at this time. Analysis revealed that teachers wrestled with the dilemma of whether to ‘care or be fair’ and that students either chose to autonomously disengage (Elbra-Ramsey 2022) or be highly invested in the process. These extremes from both teacher and student have the potential to affect the value and trustworthiness of assessment which supports student progression. The paper argues for greater training and development in authentic assessment practice in the UK so reform in any manner is possible.

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Depositing User: Kate Duffy


Item ID: 16156

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Kate Duffy: ORCID iD

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Date Deposited: 24 May 2023 14:14
Last Modified: 24 May 2023 14:14


Author: Kate Duffy ORCID iD

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society > School of Education

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