Perceptions of Teaching in an Environment of Standardized Testing: Voices from the Field

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This article reports research conducted to describe the perceptions of mentor teachers in elementary schools who work with preservice teachers in local school-university partnerships. Teachers shared how their lives in elementary schools/classrooms have changed as a result of new standardized testing requirements. Results focus on how accountability structures influence an increase in stress or pressure on teachers, how standardized testing influences a decrease in job satisfaction for teachers, and how standardized testing influences the narrowing of curriculum and instruction in elementary classrooms. In order to fight against the negative consequences of standardized testing and the implementation of assessment and accountability structures in line with new educational policy, teachers, administrators, and teacher educators must be aware of the perceptual influences at the classroom level.

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