Laborastories: Creative Assessment for NCEA Science
The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is the main form of assessment used in New Zealand secondary schools. This system promotes fragmentation of knowledge and does not align with the values of the New Zealand Curriculum, (NZC) that learning should not be confined by subject boundaries. There is evidence to suggest that integration of subject areas can improve NCEA achievement for students, and that use of stories in school science courses can enhance engagement. The aim of this research was to find out if science teachers are interested in using storytelling as a vehicle for learners to present their understanding in NCEA science courses, and what professional development is needed to help them do this. A mixed methods approach was employed, consisting of an online questionnaire distributed to NCEA science teachers in New Zealand and 13 semi-structured interviews with individual science teachers. I found that there is interest amongst the teaching community in storytelling for creative assessment but there are significant barriers to this, most commonly: unwillingness of other people, time constraints, and increased workload for both teachers and students. Teachers with previous experience in creative and/or cross-curricular assessment methods were more open to using storytelling techniques and less negatively impacted by potential barriers to these methods. Teachers identified collaboration with other teachers, ready-made resources, and time as their most pressing needs for implementation of creative assessment methods. These findings were used to inform the creative project of this thesis: two podcasting workshops for teachers and a website, www.laborastories.nz, providing resources, opportunities for collaboration, and advice for teachers interested in using storytelling for creative NCEA science assessment.
Advisor: Davis, Lloyd
Degree Name: Master of Science Communication
Degree Discipline: Science Communication
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Science Communication; NCEA; Assessment; Teacher Professional Development; New Zealand Curriculum; Cross-curricular; Storytelling
Research Type: Thesis