Teachers’ conceptions of assessment: Cross-cultural testing of models

Michalis P. MICHAELIDES, Gavin Thomas Lumsden BROWN

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Surveys of New Zealand and Queensland primary and secondary teachers, with the Teachers’ Conceptions of Assessment (TCoA) inventory, have reported four hierarchical, inter-correlated factors (i.e., assessment for improvement, school accountability, and student accountability, and assessment as irrelevant). A weakness of this research is that it has been conducted only in English in two jurisdictions with very similar policies of low-stakes testing. This paper addresses this by comparing New Zealand results with a Greek-language survey of 249 teachers in Cyprus which also has a relatively low-stakes assessment policy during the compulsory school years. Exploratory factor analysis of the Cyprus data led to an alternative five factor solution with 24 items within two inversely correlated 2nd-order factors (i.e., assessment is positive and negative; r=-.49). A multi-group nested invariance confirmatory factor analysis found statistical invariance between the Cyprus and New Zealand data. Mean score differences were small for two improvement oriented conceptions, moderate for assessment is bad, and large for school accountability and ignoring assessment factors. Teachers’ conceptions of assessment linked school accountability to improvement and reflected confidence in teacher professionalism to use assessment for improvement. Copyright © 2010 The Authors.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010


Michaelides, M., & Brown, G. T. L. (2010, July). Teachers’ conceptions of assessment: Cross-cultural testing of models. In G. T. L. Brown (Chair), Cross-cultural examinations of teachers’ conceptions of assessment and feedback: Results from survey studies in China, Cyprus, Hong Kong, & New Zealand. Symposium conducted at the 7th Conference of the International Test Commission: Challenges and Opportunities in Testing and Assessment in a Globalized Economy, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China.


  • Teacher beliefs
  • Educational assessment
  • Survey research
  • Cyprus
  • New Zealand
  • Cross-cultural comparison


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