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October 28, 2012

Contact for a small piece of educational research Survey of views of primary/junior science assess

Dear head teacher

I am a teacher working in a primary school in England and seeking to make contact with primary schools in other countries in order to carry out a small piece of research.

I am currently undertaking a Master's degree in Educational Assessment (MAEA) at Warwick University. I am gathering information for a dissertation centred on the experiences and views of stakeholders (teachers and pupils) on science assessment.

I have already carried out a smaller piece of research on this subject, based in the school where I work, with interesting results. I used questionnaires and interviews to survey views of the majority of our pupils (n = > 300), staff and parents. I would now like to obtain some international perspective and would like to find out the views of pupils and teachers in schools around the world.

School participation would be through a short online questionnaire (15 - 20 min), which the subjects could complete anonymously. Interviews, if any schools are interested, would be by agreement and could take place through email, wiki sites, phone or web-conferencing tools. Participants would be guaranteed confidentiality and anonymity at this end. The pupil questionnaire is quick, child-friendly and non-threatening in nature and the subsequent use of the data would be benign. No personal data would be obtained or stored and I have prior ethical approval from my university according to BERA (British Educational Research Association) guidelines.

I would ideally be looking for responses from as many pupils aged between 8 and 12 as possible and at least 5 teachers from each school, but any number would be welcome.

Some of the questions I am seeking to answer are:

    • What types of assessment (if any) are carried out in primary science in schools in different countries

    • What are the views of stakeholders on assessing children's science learning and or skills up to the age of 12?

    • How do these compare across different countries?

    • Do these relate to national policies?

    • How would pupils like to be assessed and what methods do they think would best show their science ability?

    • What use is made, if any, of technology in assessment?

    • How would teachers most like to assess children's science ability?

    A summary of results would be available on request to all participating schools.

    I would aim to collect data between September 2012 and June 2013.

    Are you in a position to help and would you be interested in participating or allowing some of your pupils and staff to take part in this survey? If so, I would be very grateful and delighted to send you the links to the online version. I also have a printable version for participants who do not have Internet access. My email address is:

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Juliet Nickels

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