The paper "Effects of Testing on Teaching" is a wonderful example of a literature review on education. Student’ s assessments have been a subject to debate in the recent past. Despite the fact that many professionals and scholars are united around the idea that students require modern skills to be successful today (Rotterham and Daniel Willingham, 2009), results are however mixed on the effects on teaching. Unfortunately, Literature reviews have not adequately settled these debates, a fact that may be attributed to the inconsistency in the literature (Kennedy, 2008:345). The present review focuses on three articles are Samuel Lobascher (2011) “ What are the Potential Impacts of High-stakes Testing on Literacy Education in Australia? ” ; Wayne Au (2007)” High stakes testing and Curricular control: A qualitative Meta-synthesis” High Stakes and Deborah Palmer and Virginia Snodgrass Rangel (2011)” Accountability and Policy Implementation: Teacher Decision Making in Bilingual Classrooms in Texas. All three articles relate to High stakes testing and have a divergent view of the same hence of great significance to the present research topic.
This review is organized around a series of questions that center on curriculum and instruction/pedagogy. High Stakes Accountability and Policy Implementation: Teacher Decision Making in Bilingual Classrooms in Texas by Deborah Palmer and Virginia Snodgrass Rangel This is a qualitative study that employed the use of ethnographic interviews -qualitative research.
The study utilized open-ended interviews and also relied on both implementation theory and sense-making in a bid to stress the process which affected teacher decision making with a particular focus on bilingual teachers in Texas urban district. Unlike other studies, Palmer and Rangel focused beyond the impacts to build on the existing theory to illustrate how policy initiates influenced teacher decisions and consequently leading to some negative effects. One of the observations of this study relates to reduced autonomy.
Respondents who were mainly teachers argued that testing significantly reduced not only their autonomy but also decision-making power. In a similar study in Florida, Jones and Egley (2004) however observed that only very few respondents were concerned with the loss of curricula autonomy. Palmer and Rangel’ s study also revealed teachers were forced to adopt the “ teach to test” approach of instruction. Despite the negative effects, Palmer and Rangel noted that a larger number of respondents were willing to practice authentic teaching (p.
633). This observation is quite in contrast to Shohamy’ s (2006) study where teachers implemented these policies without a second thought. Although this article sheds light on the current subject matter, it has several shortcomings coming from its limited sample size and also due to the fact that every respondent was interviewed once (p. 623). High stakes testing and Curricular control: A qualitative Meta-synthesis by Wayne Au This is qualitative research and has taken a met synthesis approach to explore about 49 qualitative studies in order to investigate the effects of student’ s assessments on curriculum, particularly in terms of content, knowledge form, as well as pedagogy. In this study, Wayne Au observed there was a close relationship or association between testing and changes in curriculum.
He believes that these changes affect the curriculum in it’ s of its content form as well as its pedagogic aspects. There was a narrowing of the curriculum where teachers tended to “ teach to test” . On the other hand, curriculum form changed either through fragmentation or integration of knowledge.
Teachers tended to concentrate on key areas as opposed to other subject-matter knowledge. The findings also revealed an increase in teacher-centered pedagogies and direct transmission of test-related facts. On the contrary, Yei (2005) noted that pedagogy was not affected negatively by these tests because these tests were well designed and did not promote drill and note memorization.