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Washback: High Stakes Tests and Teachers' Professional Development

Washback: High Stakes Tests and Teachers' Professional Development

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The present study investigated the washback effect of the English Meitzav (Hebrew acronym for Growth and Effectiveness Measures for Schools) test on EFL teachers in relations to two different stages of their professional development. Washback refers to the effects of high-stakes tests on teaching and learning behaviors of stake-holders. Research on washback demonstrates that high-stakes testing influences stakeholders' perceptions, beliefs and actions; it shows that washback may occur differently depending on the individual's background, motivations and educational environment. Little research has been specifically geared towards investigating whether high-stakes testing has different effects on teachers at different stages of their professional careers.this study confirms that while washback of the Meitzav occurs, the extent to which the test influences teachers' differs at different stages of teachers' professional development; these findings are in accordance with the literature which shows that with experience teachers' understanding of the intricate relationship between teaching, curriculum, accountability and standardized-testing evolves and ultimately informs instruction.
Novice vs. experienced teachers' interpretation of the English Meitzav test and its impact on test preparation practices