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Outstanding Formative Assessment: Culture and Practice 
 Outstanding Formative Assessment:
 Culture and Practice

 2014 pb  208 pages
 ISBN# 978 1 471 82947 5
 Item # 556   $40.00
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 Companion DVD

 Look Inside:
 Introduction and Table of Contents
 Growth mindset excerpt

"Whatever the learner's age, the curriculum demands, the subject, the educational
setting or testing arrangements, formative assessment is always relevant, as it revolves around the only focus that makes any sense: the empowerment of the learner. Once this becomes the prime focus of every teacher and pupil, with formative assessment as the driving and guiding force, outstanding achievement is not only possible, but highly probable." --Shirley Clarke

Core sections of the book include:

  • Laying the foundations for formative assessment - establishing the learning culture, involving pupils in planning and talk partners
  • Effective starts to lessons - question and activity starts, setting learning objectives and pupil-generated success criteria
  • Developing the learning - through questioning with self-peer and teacher feedback and marking, encouraging reflection and improvement
  • Developing excellence - with a focus on writing
  • Effective ends to lessons - summarizing the learning
  • Developing a whole-school approach - stories from outstanding schools in the US and UK, including lesson study; assessment policies and staff development

    Michael McDowell, Ross School District Ross CA
    Jim Moore, University of Kentucky College of Education
Katherine T. Smith Lyons, Township High School District 204 LaGrange, IL
    Kim Zeidler-Watters, College of Education University of Kentucky


Read the articles by Shirley Clark published in Peter Dewitt's blog, Finding Common Ground in Edweek

Why Ability Grouping Doesn't Work

Who is Doing Most of the Talking? Teacher or Student?

Formative Assessment: The Right Question at the Right Time

The most comprehensive of Shirley Clarke's titles includes updated key strategies and thinking, extensive full-color examples, and more focus on whole-school development and success than in her previous books.

Best-selling author Shirley Clarke provides a wealth of high quality ideas, practical strategies, classroom examples and whole-school case studies for teachers in primary and secondary schools.

The book is clearly structured around the ways in which teachers actually teach, with QR coded web video clips to illustrate key points in action. You can access and view the video clips using a QR code reader on your smart phone, tablet, or computer.


Katherine T. Smith, Quote

"I have read the book and found it to be extremely valuable and undiscovered in our community. Specifically, I find Clarke’s clarification of the definition of formative assessment to be extremely needed. Her book provides the research to support the importance of formative assessment with clear suggestions for how and samples of student work. I will be ordering more copies for next year’s professional learning events in our district.
Thank you."


Jim Moore Quote

"If you haven't read Shirley Clarke's new book, Outstanding Formative Assessment, move it to the top of your list.

Before I began reading the book, I was trying to sort in my mind what I thought “formative assessment” was and what teachers we work with think it is.  Many teachers have been led to believe it is a test or task that assesses student progress up to that point.  This has little to do with Shirley Clarke’s work on formative assessment.

I was hoping this new book would bring home in a very clear way what formative assessment is. And it has!
I was happy to see a 2012 quote from Dylan Wiliam (of the well known 1998 research review duo of Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam) in the first chapter of the book:

"The problem is that government told schools that it (formative assessment) was all about monitoring pupil progress; it wasn't about pupils becoming owners of their own learning.  The big mistake that Paul Black and I made was calling this stuff “assessment”.  Because when you use the word assessment, people think about tests and exams.  For me, AfL is about better teaching."

“Assessment for Learning” (AfL) describes Shirley Clarke’s new book.  When you see, Outstanding Formative Assessment, remember that it is about better teaching, not about tests and exams.

If you have not read it - do.  I think the book will make a great course for all teachers."

    Jim Moore

    Regional Teacher Partner/Master Teacher PIMSER,
    Partnership Institute for Math and Science Education Reform
    University of Kentucky College of Education


Kim Zeidler-Watters Quote

Outstanding Formative Assessment serves as a valuable resource for K-12 educators. Shirley Clarke’s approach to the book describes a framework for effectively integrating the formative process at the classroom level. The author provides the necessary background information, numerous examples of teacher tested strategies for implementing the framework across a range of grade levels and content areas, and QR codes that access video clips of what the ideas shared in the book look like in practice. The author includes examples of strategies from her recent work in the US and in England."

Kim Zeidler-Watters, College of Education
   University of Kentucky
   Director of the Partnership Institute for
   Math and Science Education Reform


Michael McDowell Quote

"Shirley Clarke’s work is extremely practical -- she brings the research to the classroom through her films, examples, and her clear and concise writing.  I find that when I’m speaking about feedback or formative assessment these can be buzzwords or saturated constructs that elicit a sense of theoretical principles rather than sound, doable practical solutions/techniques.  Shirley strikes a wonderful juxtaposition of scholarly work and practical application, but stays closer to the practical side of the things.  She also doesn’t confuse the audience or go for a larger unit of analysis than the classroom, although she does go to whole school in this last book.  It comes from a place of teachers working together to create a system of stronger learning.  This broader realm makes sense and is, I believe, appreciated by practitioners in the field."

Michael McDowell, Superintendent
    Ross School District
    Ross, CA

For related books, see Professional Books by Subject

Companion DVD: Outstanding
Formative Assessment

'Outstanding Formative Assessment’ features an exceptional inner city teacher, Seamus Gibbons. Seven lessons exemplify formative assessment at its best: two literacy, two maths, one art plus a pupil-led guided reading session. Five hours of quality learning on one DVD.

 DVD $85.00 plus
$12.00 shipping from
the United Kingdom
You can also order Shirley’s previous DVD
which shows formative assessment across
a range of teachers, lessons and age groups:

The Power of Formative Assessment

DVD $85.00 plus
 $12.00 shipping from
  the United Kingdom

Free DVD User’s Guide is available to download

Please e-mail your purchase request(s)

Each DVD is $85.00 plus $12.00 shipping
from the United Kingdom.   -  Total $97.00

Payable by check to: Shirley Clarke Education Inc.
DVDs will be posted with an invoice in US dollars.
Compete details will be on the invoice.


Author Bio:

Shirley Clarke is an Associate of the Institute of Education, University of London, and a leading expert on formative assessment, an education consultant in the UK, internationally, and does work periodically with teachers in the US. She is an experienced primary teacher, advisory teacher, and a popular speaker.  Her courses and training for teachers, and ongoing work with her many action research teams, give her a down-to-earth perspective on day-to-day classroom realities which is reflected in all of her books. 

Shirley Clarke's books on formative assessment are published by Hodder Education in UK. Shirley Clarke's DVD's are published by Shirley Clarke in UK. We are honored to distribute her books and DVDs in North America. 

More Books by the Author
 Growth Mindset Lessons:
   Every child a learner

Active Learning Through Formative

Oral and Written Feedback
from Teachers and Children

Targeting Assessment in the Primary Classroom: Strategies for Planning, Assessment Pupil Feedback and Target Setting

Unlocking Formative Assessment: Practical Strategies for Enhancing Pupils' Learning in the Primary Classroom