Irena Raudiene


This article presents the results of a thematic analysis conducted after informal interviews with 10 teachers and a head teacher of one secondary school in the city of Vilnius about their classroom assessment practices. Part of a larger critical ethnographic research exploring the change of school culture when introducing assessment innovation, this analysis reveals common classroom assessment practices, teachers’ beliefs about the role of assessment, and the anxiety the  school community shares around standardized testing and examinations. Literature suggests that both formative and summative assessment practices have great potential for improving students’ learning. Teachers are encouraged to integrate assessment into their teaching in order to identify where their pupils are in their learning and the steps they need to take for improvement and progress (Gardner, Hayward, Harlen & Stobart, 2008). However convincing the arguments in favour of change are, the external school evaluation data shows that the real change in the way teachers assess students’ progress is very slow and hardly noticed. The concept of learning oriented assessment culture (Birenbaum, 2014) could provide more understanding about the nature of good classroom assessment and necessary conditions that help to sustain school efforts in improving assessment practices.



assessment culture, testing culture, formative assessment, test anxiety

Full Text:



Adelman, C. (1993). Kurt Lewin and the Origins of Action Research. Educational Action Research, 1(1), 7-24. DOI: .

Birenbaum, M. (2014). Conceptualizing assessment culture in schools. In C. Wyatt-Smith, V. Klenowski, & P. Colbert (Eds.). Designing Assessment for Quality Learning, 1, 285-302.

Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (1998). Inside the black box: raising standards through classroom assessment. The Phi Delta Kappan, 80(2), 139-148.

Coghlan, D., Brydon-Miller, M. (2014). The Sage Encyclopaedia of Action Research. Sage publications.

DeLuca, Ch., LaPointe-McEwan, D.& Luhanga, U. (2016). Teacher assessment literacy: a review of international standards and measures. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 28, 251–272. DOI:

DeLuca, Ch.& Volante, L. (2016). Assessment for learning in teacher education programs: Navigating the juxtaposition of theory and praxis. Journal of the International Society for Teacher Education, 20(1), 19-31.

Dewey, J. (1910). How we think. Boston, New York, Chicago: D.C. Heath & Co Publishers.

Dionne, E. & Milley, P. (2019). On the influence of Neoliberalism on classroom assessment practices in Canada: A critical but balanced reflection. In Chitpin, S. (Ed.), Portelli, J. (Ed.). (2019). Confronting Educational Policy in Neoliberal Times. New York: Routledge, Chitpin, S. (Ed.), Portelli, J. (Ed.). (2019). Confronting Educational Policy in Neoliberal Times. New York: Routledge, Chitpin, S. (Ed.), Portelli, J. (Ed.). (2019), Confronting Educational Policy in Neoliberal Times. New York: Routledge. DOI:

Gardner, J., Harlen, W., Hayward, L. & Stobart, G. (2008). Changing Assessment Practice: Process, Principles and Practice. Retrieved from:

Gipps, C. & Stobart, G. (2014). Fairness in assessment. In Wyatt-Smith, C., Klenowski, V., Colbert, P. (2014). Designing assessment for quality learning. New York: Springer.

Graue, M.E. (1993). Integrating Theory and Practice through Instructional Assessment. Educational Assessment, 1(4), 283-309. DOI:

Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers. Maximizing impact on Learning. London and New York: Routledge.

Kemmis, S., McTaggart, R. & Nixon, R., (2014). The action research planner. Doing critical participatory action research. Springer.

Miles, M.B., Huberman, A.M. & Saldana, J. (2014). Qualitative data analysis. A Methods sourcebook. Third edition. The United States of America: Sage.

Morgan, J., & Just, P. (2000). Social and cultural anthropology. A very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Nacionalinė švietimo agentūra. (2019). Bendrojo udgymo mokyklų išorinio rizikos vertinimo rezultatai. Retrieved from:

Opfer, D.V.& Pedder, D. (2011). Conceptualizing teacher professional learning. Review of educational research 2011 81(3) 376-407. DOI: .

Popham, W.J. (2001). Teaching to the Test? Educational Leadership, 58(6), 16-20. Retrieved from¢.aspx .

Shepard, L.A. (2000). The Role of Assessment in a Learning Culture. Educational Researcher, 29(7), 4–14. DOI: .

Spradley, J.P. (1979). The Ethnographic Interview. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers the United States of America.

Swaffield, S. (2011). Getting to the heart of authentic Assessment for Learning. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 18(4), 433–449.

Wiliam, D. (2011). Embedded formative assessment. Bloomington: Solution Tree Press.

Wiliam, D. Brookhart, S., Guskey,T., & McTighe, J. (2020). Grading in a Comprehensive and Balanced Assessment. Recommendations from the National Panel on the Future of Assessment Practices. Policy Paper. Retrieved from:

Zhang, Z., Burry-Stock, J.A. (2003). Classroom Assessment Practices and Teachers’ Self-Perceived Assessment Skills. Applied measurement in education, 16(4), 323–342. Retrieved from: .



  • There are currently no refbacks.