Nowadays in the light of changes in Kazakhstani education system approach to learner’s assessment also has been impacted by new standards. Assessment has also taken a new way to measure students’ performances. In Kazakhstani mainstream schools there is still a system of grading from “1” to “5” points, where “5” is the highest mark. Unfortunately there is no reflection for students of how to improve their skills in school subjects.
There are three types of assessment: diagnostic, formative and summative. The purpose of the first one is to test the level of knowledge at the beginning of learning or academic year, in formative assessment students should be supported and directed by a teacher to improve weak sides of their learning through regular and constructive feedback. Summative one is just a final measure of student’s performance.
Since I have graduated from Professional Development Program for Teachers in Nazarbayev University, Graduate School of Education where I found out about new assessment system, namely Formative Assessment and since I started working in the system of Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools I faced with the use of Formative Assessment. Undoubtedly, formative assessment is helpful students’ performance measurement tool indeed to support learners in developing their skills in various subjects.
Working in a new system, I noticed that due to the reason that everyone’s perceptions are different, hence each teacher can interpret formative assessment in his/her own way, so I became interested in the perceptions of formative assessment among local teachers in experimental schools who apply this stage of new assessment in their practice and to what extent is it helpful for teachers and supporting for students’ progress to assess learners by our teachers. Surely, all teachers in experimental schools follow new standards of assessment; however there is an assumption that formative assessment used in experimental schools in Kazakhstan sometimes reminds more summative assessment due to the reason that formative assessment takes places mainly through worksheets.
Taking into consideration that formative assessment is the pivotal stage for the learners’ progress in their final performance there is need to study teachers perceptions to find out how much effectively do teachers use this meaningful stage of assessment in their practice. To sum up I chose this topic for my thesis because I would like to understand better perceptions of formative assessment as a new tool to measure and support learners’ progress by Kazakhstani teachers.