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Managing to care, the emotional dimensions of formative assessment: sustainability of teacher learner relationships in four case studies

Jones, LM; (2017) Managing to care, the emotional dimensions of formative assessment: sustainability of teacher learner relationships in four case studies. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This study is concerned with how educators, and their students, in different adult teaching and learning environments, engage in formative assessment and how development of capacities to perform a more holistic formative pedagogy might enhance educational processes potentially weakened by exclusive focus on rational processes alone. This thesis suggests that formative assessment could be enriched by affective approaches such as developing the use-of-self, emotional intelligence and relational skills. The central argument proposes that lecturers in Higher Education, expected to behave in emotionally neutral, predominantly rational, ways experience stressful paradoxical demands that unintentionally generate suboptimal environments for take up of feedback. The emergent concept of formative pedagogy which promotes deliberate engagement with emotions, feelings and mood to “refine principles of effective formative assessment, identify gaps and gather further evidence about the potential of formative assessment and feedback to support self-regulation” (Nicol and Macfarlane-Dick 2006:215) is explored as one means of enhancing sustainable assessment for learning. It aims to create and maintain reciprocal, collaborative tutor-learner relationships which generate trust that feedback will enhance short term achievements and develop learner capacities for self-regulation. A significant factor likely to enhance conditions for sustainable formative assessment is the promotion of teacher-learner relationships as caring collaborative spaces where shared commitment to learning outcomes and processes are authentic rather than emotionally neutral. Four case studies, utilising mixed methodologies of observation, survey and interview generate broad descriptors of manifestations and expressions of reciprocal caring between teachers and learners in General Practice; 5Rhythms dance; Shaolin Kungfu and undergraduate medical lectures. Comparison between them illuminates potential staff-development needs and strategies for enabling medical (or other professional) educators and students to maximise effective use-of-self. The findings endorse the introduction of balanced epistemologies into ‘spiral developmental curricula’ and the need for universities and medical communities of practice to adapt away from ‘emotionally silent orthodoxies’. Concluding chapters suggest staff development programmes could “filch” (Newman 2006) curriculum ideas for educating educators in holistic formative pedagogies and promoting self-regulatory learners, most likely to make use of feedback.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Managing to care, the emotional dimensions of formative assessment: sustainability of teacher learner relationships in four case studies
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1493035
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