- Detail Page
Active Learning Through Formative Assessment
by Shirley Clarke
Down to earth, practical and direct, this book gives busy teachers the
essential ‘how to’ information they need, with clear principles and theory
to underpin the wealth of practical advice and examples.
Aims; where the examples come from; overview of the book
1 Definitions, history and purposes of formative assessment 7
Why formative assessment?; its history; use of terms; key
2 The link with summative assessment: long-,medium- and
short-term assessment 12
3 The ideal learning culture 18
How teachers and pupils view ability and their learning
potential; the fixed and growth mindset; strategies for
developing a growth mindset; what the ideal learning
environment should consist of, and effective strategies to
create and sustain it; learning how to learn
4 How can we maximise opportunities to think, discuss
and question? 35
Dialogic talk; quality talk; examples of techniques and
impact across the age range
5 Asking worthwhile questions 53
Five templates for effective questions: teachers’ responses
to pupils’ responses
6 How can planning maximise pupil engagement and
Pre-planning; key skills; discussions with pupils; keeping
the learning visual and interactive; examples of pupils’
involvement in planning
7 What makes effective learning objectives? 81
Breaking down learning objectives; the impact of separating
learning objectives from the context; examples and impact
of decontextualised learning objectives
8 How will we know what learning objectives mean? 92
Success criteria: differentiation, pupil generation of success
criteria, breaking success criteria down, one possible lesson
pathway; examples of success criteria techniques, use and
9 How will we know what excellence looks like? 117
Comparing products to define quality; what teachers have
learnt; examples of use and impact of comparing products
10 How can we enable a process of constant review and
How feedback has evolved; what teachers have learnt
about integrating feedback; the impact of integrated
feedback; examples of integrated feedback
11 Setting up a learning team in your own educational setting,
and supporting teacher development 153
Establishing aims; current learning team model; overview of
he project; what teachers are asked to do; teacher feedback
sessions; local authority action; supporting teacher development
– working with teachers; the key elements of effective support
I believe that my own journey in writing books about formative
assessment in some way reflects the journey many teachers have taken
over the last ten years. My first book, in 1998, focused on the very
beginnings of formative assessment: getting away from continual
summative assessment, sharing learning objectives, getting pupils to do
some self-evaluation and improving teachers’ marking. Over the last
ten years, much of my focus has been on the detail of the essential
techniques involved – how success criteria work for foundation subjects
and how to get pupils to make their own improvements, and so on.
Today, although schools and teachers will
always be at different stages
The aims for this book. . .
Pupil talk is the central feature of the
classroom, the most significant
As with anything of any worth in education,
formative assessment has
This book ends with a chapter on setting up
a learning team in any
Sometimes the feedback from the teachers
simply confirms what
Finally, I have included information about
summative assessment in
Overview of the book
Chapter 1 revisits definitions, the history and purposes of formative
assessment, with current thinking from recent research.
Chapter 2 places formative assessment in the context of all
Chapter 3 discusses the ideal learning culture and the role both
teachers and pupils have in establishing it.
Chapter 4 focuses on pupil talk, the heart of formative assessment.
Chapter 5 explores what makes an effective and worthwhile question,
and how we can get more out of questioning.
Chapter 6 deals with collaborative planning of units of work,
including learning objectives and the contexts for the learning, as well
as a key skills curriculum.
Chapter 7 looks at the importance of having ‘pure’ learning
Chapter 8 deals with the generation and use of success criteria.
Chapter 9 tackles the issue of quality and recognising excellence.
Chapter 10 discusses the ways in which self-, peer- and teacher
evaluation and feedback can be embedded throughout lessons so that
constant review and improvement become the norm.
Chapter 11 presents a model for setting up an action research
learning team in any educational setting, with a contribution by an
Advanced Skills Teacher giving her approach to helping teachers
develop formative assessment.