When George Bernard Shaw wrote his play, Pygmalion, he could hardly have foreseen the use of the concept of the self-fulfilling prophecy in debates about standardized testing in schools. Still less could he have foreseen that the validity of the concept would be examined many years later in Irish schools. While the primary purpose of the experimental study reported in this book was not to investigate the Pygmalion effect, it is inconceivable that a study of the effects of standardized testing, conceived in the 1960s and planned and executed in the 1970s, would not have been influenced by thinking about teachers' expectations and the influence of test information on the formation of those expectations. While our study did pay special attention to teacher expectations, its scope was much wider. It was planned and carried out in a much broader framework, one in which we set out to examine the impact of a standardized testing program, not just on teachers, but also on school practices, students, and students' parents.
Table of Contents1 The Effects of Standardized Testing: Controversy and Research.- Controversial Issues.- Empirical Research on Testing.- The Present Investigation.- 2 An Experimental Study of the Effects of Standardized Testing: Design and Implementation.- The Locus of the Study.- The Sample.- Tests and Test Information.- Treatments.- Dependent Variables.- Procedure.- 3 Effects of Testing on Schools.- Effects on School Organization and Practice.- Effects on School Achievement 43 Distribution of Ability, Achievement, and Socioeconomic Background.- Conclusion.- 4 Effects of Testing on Teachers.- Teachers’ Attitudes, Beliefs, and Behavior Relating to Standardized Tests.- Teachers’ Reactions to Testing 98 Teachers’ Perceptions of Usefulness and Reported Uses of Test Information.- Conclusion.- 5 Effects of Testing on Pupils.- Pupils’ Perceptions of and Reactions to Standardized Tests.- Pupils’ Perceptions of Factors That Affect Scholastic Progress and Getting Along Well in Class.- Pupils’ Ratings of Their Scholastic Behavior and Abilities.- Pupils’ Self-Concepts.- Conclusion.- 6 Expectancy Effects: The Role of Test Information.- Teachers’ Perceptions: Stability and Change.- Teachers’ Perceptions and Pupils’ Test Scores: Correlational Analyses.- Pupil Characteristics and Expectancy.- Conclusion.- 7 Effects of Testing on Parents.- Familiarity of Parents with Changes in Evaluation.- Communication between School and Parents.- Parents’ Perceptions of Their Children’s School Progress.- Parents’ Knowledge about and Attitudes toward Standardized Testing.- Conclusion.- 8 Alternative Treatments.- School-Level Effects.- Teacher-Level Effects.- Pupil-Level Effects.- The Role of Test Information in the Expectancy Process.- Criterion-Referenced Test Information.- Conclusion.- 9 Conclusion.- Main Findings.- Issues in Interpreting Findings.- Conclusion.- References.- Name Index.