Essays in Education


The purpose of this study was to determine if a high school exit examination influences instructional practices. Data were obtained from a survey instrument given to a stratified random sample of Tennessee English teachers who teach the same content tested on their state’s exit examination. An analysis showed teachers using a balance of student-centered and teacher-centered practices including writing assignments, textbook-based assignments, supplementary materials, and open-response questions. Also, although no relationship was found between the type of instructional practice used and time spent on test preparation, over 90% of teachers spending the most amount of time preparing students for the examination felt that “personal desire,” “belief these are the best practices,” and an “interest in helping my students attain examination scores that will allow them to graduate high school” were factors influencing their use of instructional practices.

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