Preschool/Kindergarten teachers' conceptions of standardised testing

Niek Frans*, W. J. Post, C. E. Oenema-Mostert, A. E. M. G. Minnaert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Standardised tests play an important role in early childhood (EC) education in many countries. Although teachers' conceptions largely determine whether and how these instruments are used, research on this topic is scarce. As a result, factors that influence conceptions of standardised testing have remained largely unexplored. To examine teachers' conceptions of standardised testing and aspects that may influence these conceptions, Brown's CoA-III-A questionnaire was distributed to 97 EC educators. Based on their responses, a selection of six preschool/kindergarten teachers participated in a series of semi-structured interviews. Analyses of the questionnaire and the interviews indicated that the teachers did not see these tests solely as instruments for accountability or improvement. While some perceived the test as pleasant confirmation, others perceived the results as negative opposition to their own observations. The teachers' conceptions were influenced by classroom population, management team, and the ascribed purpose of the test.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-108
Number of pages22
JournalAssessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice
Issue number1
Early online date13-Nov-2019
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Standardised testing
  • early childhood
  • teacher conceptions

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