University of Oulu

Sonja Lutovac & Maria Assunção Flores (2022) Conceptions of assessment in pre-service teachers’ narratives of students’ failure, Cambridge Journal of Education, 52:1, 55-71, DOI: 10.1080/0305764X.2021.1935736

Conceptions of assessment in pre-service teachers’ narratives of students’ failure

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Author: Lutovac, Sonja1; Flores, Maria Assunção2
Organizations: 1Department of Educational Sciences and Teacher Education, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Research Centre on Child Studies (CIEC), Institute of Education, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-08-19


Pre-service teachers’ conceptions of assessment have received relatively little attention in research concerned with professional development in initial teacher education. These conceptions, alongside of others regarding teaching and learning, however, have a great impact on future teachers’ instructional practices. In this study, we examine conceptions of assessment indirectly, by analysing 79 Finnish pre-service subject teachers’ narratives of students’ failure. Our findings reveal four major conceptions: (a) assessment is about feedback and reflection, (b) assessment needs to be personalised and demonstrate students’ learning, (c) assessment should take into account students’ invested effort, and (d) assessment fails to measure students’ success or failure. These findings provide a qualitative insight into and extend both research on teachers’ conceptions of assessment as a vital aspect of assessment literacy and research on pre-service teachers’ conceptions in particular. The relevance of these findings for future teachers’ professional development is discussed.

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Series: Cambridge journal of education
ISSN: 0305-764X
ISSN-E: 1469-3577
ISSN-L: 0305-764X
Volume: 52
Issue: 1
Pages: 55 - 71
DOI: 10.1080/0305764X.2021.1935736
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Funding: This work was supported by the Academy of Finland (Project ID 307672).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 307672
Detailed Information: 307672 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.