Monique Marshall and Lisa Memmelaar CLT #4EDAD 6360 Learning Theory in Educational Leadership Sam Houston State University
WHAT IS FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT?The act of assessing a student’s understanding of a concept during the learning process is formative assessment. “The purpose of such assessment is to facilitate, or form learning and not to assign a grade,” (Snowman, McCown, Biehler , 2009, p. 487). The teacher is able to acknowledge any misconceptions the students may have and adjust teaching and learning strategies. This type of assessment is powerful because it allows open communication from the learner to the teacher identifying the comprehension level throughout the lesson (Brookhart, Moss, & Long , 2008).
4 CORE ELEMENTS OF FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT· Identifying the gap: This is when teachers are determining the (ZPD) Zone of Proximal Development. This is defined as the distance between what the child can accomplish independently and the level at which he can problem solve with the help of an adult.· Feedback: When providing students with feedback, this affects students’ performance, motivation and self-efficacy. Formative assessments encourage students to use feedback to improve their learning. The teacher takes steps to close the gap by teaching, modifying, assessing, and re-teaching so that each student is successful.· Student Involvement: Students learn how to self and peer assess through active involvement and participation. Students reflect and monitor to adapt to their own learning needs. Students collaborate with peers and teachers to determine the criteria for success such as an example of a rubric or paper.· Learning Progressions: Through learning progressions, students have a guide or criteria to follow so that students are engaged in learning.
FEATURES OF FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT• Students are assessed during the learning process• Learner-centered environment• Teacher and students collaborate• Feedback from students is used to make adjustments to instruction
USE OF FORMATIVE ASSESSMENTTo properly utilize assessment formatively, Frey and Fisher (2011) suggests that the teacher determine student learning outcomes, evaluate comprehension, offer feedback, and adjust forthcoming instruction based on the accomplishment of the student. Hattie and Timperley (2007) developed three effective feedback questions that will support formative assessment:• Where am I going? (What are the goals?)• How am I going? (What progress is being made toward the goal?• Where to next? (What activities need to be undertaken to make better progress?) (p. 86).
QUOTES FROM CLASSROOM TEACHERS“I ask students to tell me what they know or want to know about a topic; this helps me get a better understand of what knowledge students already have or misconceptions they may have about a topic.”Debra Linder, Kindergarten Teacher“When I want to quickly check what students know, I will ask yes/no or true/false questions and they will respond with a thumbs up or down in front of them to answer. I can quickly see if most students have mastered the skill or if I need to reteach. “Jenn Lemons, 1st Grade Teacher“During small group reading instruction I have students whisper read to themselves and I observe their reading of a familiar text to see where they are making mistakes so that I can adjust my instruction in the group to meet their needs. “Diane Terry, 2nd Grade Teacher“During small group math instruction, I ask students to explain how they solved the math problem. This lets me see their thinking behind their math and it also lets other students in the group self assess their work and understanding of the problem. “Tamara Dukes, 3rd Grade Teacher
FEEDBACK VS. PRAISEMany educators believe that praise is a form of feedback. In fact, praise only recognizes the high achievement of student; however it does nothing to promote continuous improvement. Phrases like, “You did great on your quiz,” “Good job,” and “Awesome” can be likened to sauce on a steak. The sauce tastes good, but it would be even better accompanied with the steak – feedback. As cited in Clark (2011) Torrance and Pryor (1998) believe, “many teachers focus on praise as a form of „feedback‟ because of the efficacy of behaviorist reinforcement systems” (p. 162). In order for formative assessment to be successful feedback must be given to students so the teaching paradigm can shift allowing a higher level of comprehension of concepts. Feedback is considered to be a way to lead students toward methods that will help them to improve by supplying information that can help the student with learning and retaining knowledge (Burnett, 2002). Feedback can specifically identify the strength and weakness of a student on a particular lesson allowing the teacher to modify instruction. Feedback Praise Identifies strengths and Appraises performance weaknesses of performance Learner-centered Teacher-centered Promotes improvement Boosts self-esteem
WHAT TEACHERS NEED TO DOThe 4 core elements will help to gather information that will help with instruction and meeting the student’s individual needs. We need to first use teacher knowledge to get a clear vision before starting the 4 core elements. We need to establish what it is we want the students to know by the end of the six weeks. Once we have a vision, we might have a questionnaire that students will fill out so that we know what students already know and don’t know. From this we would identify the gap and determine flexible groups and how we should spend time teaching. We are able to meet with students and give feedback. We will get students involved through the questionnaire as they are actively participating in answering the questions. They are reflecting back on their learning and determining what they need extra help on. From this, we can interpret the results and develop a plan so flexible groups will be successful by the end of the six weeks. Formative assessments will drive our teaching so that every minute of every day can be spent motivating and meeting the learning needs of students.
RELEVANT THEORISTS Connie M. Moss, Ed.D. Dr. Moss is currently works in the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership at Duquesne University as a professor. Prior to this, she worked 25 years as a K-12 educator and educational leader supporting lesson planning and assessment and instructional support. She is an advocate for formative assessment and has made many presentations and publications on the subject. Notable work by Dr. Moss is Advancing Formative Assessment in Every Classroom. Susan Brookhart, Ph.D. Dr. Brookhart is a faculty member at ASCD where she offers professional development training in formative assessment. Brookhart also serves on the state assessment advisory committee for the State of Montana. She is the author and/or co-author of several books on formative assessment: How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Students, Advancing Formative Assessment in Every Classroom: A Guide for Instructional Leaders, Formative Assessment Strategies for Every Classroom: An ASCD Action Tool.
RELEVANT THEORISTS CONTINUED… Dylan Wiliam, Ph.D. Dr. Wiliam is currently an Emeritus Professor of Educational Assessment at the Institute of Education University of London. He has played many roles throughout his career in education such as Senior Research Director at the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, NJ. In his recent work Wiliam has focused on formative assessment . He has worked with educators in both the United States and United Kingdom on creating formative assessment methods. Notable work: Assessment for Learning in the Classroom, From Teachers to Schools: Scaling up Professional Development for Formative Assessment, and Designing Feedback as Part of a System. Paul Black, Ph.D. Dr. Black began his career in education as a faculty member in the physics department. In 1987 he was chair of Task Group on Assessment and Testing. Black has been a visiting professor at Stanford University in California where he worked with teachers to develop classroom formative assessment. He co-authored Developing the Theory of Formative Assessment and Inside the Black Box: Raising Standards Through Classroom Assessment. Other notable publications on formative assessment: Formative and Summative Assessment by Teachers’ Assessments: Promises and Problems.
RELEVANT THEORISTS CONTINUED… Margaret Heritage Margaret Heritage is Assistant Director for Professional Development at the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing (CRESST) at UCLA. She has many years of teaching and leadership experience in the United Kingdom as well as the United States. Her current focus is on school improvement, learning progressions, and formative assessments. Margaret Heritage is the co-author of Formative Assessment for Literacy, Grades K-6: Building Reading and Academic Language Skills Across the Curriculum, published by Corwin Press. Rick Stiggins, Ph.D. Dr. Rick Stiggins is a consultant who helps teachers and school leaders understand how to use the assessment process and its results to benefit student learning. Dr. Stiggins believes that formative assessment can promote student success. Dr. Stiggins has worked with several universities such as the University of Minnesota and Michigan State University. He has participated on the research and development team at the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. Dr. Stiggins is author and coauthor of several books Classroom Assessment FOR Student Learning, Assessment FOR Learning, Evaluating Assessment Quality.
REFERENCESBrookhart, S., Moss, C., & Long, B. (2008). Formative assessment that empowers. Educational Leadership, 66(3), 52.Burnett, P. (2002). Teacher praise and feedback and students’ perceptions of the classroom environment. Educational Psychology, 22(1), 5-16.Clark, I. (2011). Formative assessment: Policy, perspectives and practice. Florida Journal of Educational Administration & Policy, 4(2), 158-180.Frey, N., & Fisher, D. (2011). The formative assessment action plan: Practical steps to more successful teaching and learning. ASCD.Hattie, J. & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of Educational Research, 77, 81-112. doi: 10.3102/003465430298487
REFERENCES CONTINUED….Heritage, M. (2007). Formative assessment: what teachers need to know and do? Phi Delta Kappan. 89(2) 140-145KewlKiwiChick. (2011, May 7). Formative assessment in schools. Retrieved October 9, 2012, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7XpUqNnKtI&playnext=1&list=PL61C6C3 07E418326E&feature=results_mainSnowman, J., McCown, R., & Biehler, R. (2009). Psychology Applied to Teaching. New York: WadsworthStiggins, R. (2005). From formative assessment to assessment for learning: a path to Success in standards-based schools. Phi Delta Kappan. v87(4) 324- 328.