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Thursday, 25 April 2013

ELSIN 2013

Developing Learning Sustainability: Focus on Effective use of Formative Assessment for Developing Learning Autonomy

Dr Joanna GOODMAN (Independent Educational Consultant, UK) – joanna.goodman@cromwell-consulting.com


This paper is my contribution to the Symposium on the concept of assessment.

My ideas are based on my qualitative research into the use of assessment in the classroom, which was conducted in an independent school in England, and my observations as a practitioner, and school inspector, with about 30 years of experience in education in different types of schools in England.

My theoretical framework is mainly based on the findings by Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam, and King’s College London Assessment Group, into the use of assessment for learning for substantial learning gains.  I examine ways of overcoming the current situation of teacher misinterpretation of assessment, evident amongst teachers in UK schools.  I explore ways of widening the current concept of assessment by interpreting assessment in terms asking questions about learning and the process of gathering information related to learning and educational outcomes, rather than just seeing assessment as a measuring device.

 In this expanded view of assessment, the learners’ interests are in the centre, therefore it could be argued that this concept of assessment moves closer to recognizing assessment as a tool for enriching children’s learning and development, and as such could be viewed more in terms of a dialogic interaction between teachers and students, leading to improved progress through active student engagement at every stage of the learning process.

I also consider the reasons for the reluctance on the part of the teaching profession to embed the formative assessment practice as part of everyday classroom practice.

Key words: formative assessment, feedback, learning autonomy, learning sustainability, assessment for learning (AfL)


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