The purpose of this article is to present alternative views on the theory and practice of formative assessment (FA), or assessment to support teaching and learning in classrooms, with the purpose of highlighting its value in education and informing discussions on educational assessment policy.
The method used is a “moderated policy discussion”. The six invited commentaries on the theme represent perspectives of leading scholars and measurement experts juxtaposed against voices of prominent school district leaders from two education systems in the USA. The discussion is moderated with introductory and concluding remarks from the guest editor and is excerpted from a recent blog published by Education Week. References and author biographies are presented at the end of the article.
While current assessment policies in the USA push for greater accountability in schools by increasing large scale testing of students, the authors underscore the importance of FA integrated with classroom teaching and learning. They define what formative classroom assessment means in theory and in practice, consider barriers to more widespread use of FA practices and address what educational policy makers could do to facilitate a FA “work culture” in schools.
The commentators, representing scholar and practitioner perspectives, examine the problem in a multi-faceted manner and offer research-based, practical and policy solutions to the observed issues in FA. Dialogue among stakeholders, as presented here, is a key first step in enacting assessment reforms in the directions discussed.
© Assessment and Evaluation Research Initiative at Teachers College, Columbia University (AERI@TC) and the National Superintendents Roundtable, USA (2014)
W. Gordon, E., V. McGill, M., Iceman Sands, D., M. Kalinich, K., W. Pellegrino, J. and Chatterji, M. (2014), "Bringing formative classroom assessment to schools and making it count", Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 339-352. https://doi.org/10.1108/QAE-07-2014-0034Download as .RIS
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