Stella Lungu, Beatrice Matafwali, Madalitso K. Banja


The paper discusses formative and summative assessment practices by teachers in ECE Centres in Lusaka, Zambia. The study used a mixed methods design by utilizing a concurrent triangulation design which enabled the researchers to converge quantitative and qualitative data. In addition, the design helped to confirm and cross-validate the study findings. Qualitative data was prioritised over quantitative data. Probability and non-probability sampling techniques were used to sample one hundred and two (102) teachers, ten (10) head teachers and one hundred and twenty-five (125) parents. Questionnaires were used to gather data from teachers and parents, Focus Group Discussion Guides (FGDs) were used to interview teachers whilst Interview guides were used to interview head teachers. A Documentary Analysis Guide and an Observational Checklist were used by the researcher to obtain additional data on assessment practices by teachers from a documentary and observational point of view. Descriptive statistics were computed to analyse quantitative data whilst thematic analysis was used to analyse qualitative data using a framework approach of qualitative data analysis. Results revealed that the most predominantly implemented summative assessments in ECE Centres were mid-term tests and end of term tests. Teachers also used formative assessments such as homework, oral questioning, collection of samples, portfolios and interview guides. However, teachers failed to adhere to the actual norms of formative assessment such as tracking of individual children’s development, learning needs and achievements so as to adapt instruction accordingly. Consequently, the assessment results were often compromised. Finally, the study recommends that Ministry of General Education should conduct capacity building training programmes for teachers on formative and summative assessment practices in ECE to ensure effective implementation of both formative and summative assessment in ECE Centres. 


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