Assessment for the achievements of disadvantaged learners

See Wai Alison YEUNG

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Assessment and learners’ achievement have an affinity in enhancing teaching and learning in education. At the time academic achievement is stressed, educators ought to re-think the following questions: How is achievement defined? Who defines achievement and in whose interest? What is the purpose of achievement? Who grades? Who defines the criteria for grading? On the other hand, teacher education programs have educated student-teachers to work effectively with one dominant culture. Teachers are then unprepared to acknowledge the cultural differences and educational inequalities that schools often perpetuate. Some teachers find it difficult to understand that minority and poor students have the potential to be successful; they often are not given the opportunity to develop their academic and social skills. All of these barriers may result in the disadvantaged learners’ underachievement (Sleeter & Grant, 1986, 1988). Assessment for learning has an emotional impact as well, i.e. teachers’ comments, marks and grades can have effect on learners’ confidence and enthusiasm (QCA, 2004). Obviously, the diverse awareness of teachers will affect their use of assessment and students’ learning achievements will then be determined. This article will demonstrate that teacher’s multicultural education beliefs are important in a pluralistic society, where teachers must be prepared to make professional decisions about how best to meet the educational needs of all students, especially the disadvantaged learners. This study reports a group of Chinese pre-service teachers and experienced school teachers’ attitudes of cultural difference with the Chinese pre-service teachers and experienced school teachers’ attitudes of cultural difference with the use of an instrument, Cultural Diversity Awareness Inventory, CDAI (Henry, 1991). The study is trying to understand: (1) the cultural sensitivity levels towards alternative assessment of Hong Kong teachers; and (2) the general assessment practices for the disadvantaged students. These results have important implications for the measurement of teacher beliefs, for practice in teacher training as well as impact of assessment on teaching and learning.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2005


Yeung, A. S. W. (2005, June). Assessment for the achievements of disadvantaged learners. Paper presented at the First International Conference on Enhancing Teaching and Learning through Assessment, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China.


  • Theory and Practice of Teaching and Learning


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