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Characteristics of improved formative assessment practice
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education. (Formativ bedömning)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8738-8639
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education. (Formativ bedömning)
2017 (English)In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 8, no 2, p. 104-122Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

An earlier study showed that the changes in teachers’ classroom practice, after participation in a professional development program in formative assessment, significantly improved student achievement in mathematics. The teachers in that study were a random selection of Year 4 teachers in a Swedish mid-sized municipality. In the present study, we analyse and describe the characteristics of these changes in classroom practice, which were based on a combination of various strategies for formative assessment. Data were collected through teacher interviews and classroom observations. The teachers implemented many new activities that strengthened a formative classroom practice based on identifying student learning needs and modifying the teaching and learning accordingly. The characteristics of the changes the teachers made reveal the complexity of this formative assessment practice and why such developments of practice are likely to require major changes in most teachers’ practices. We also discuss how such changes in practice afford new learning opportunities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2017. Vol. 8, no 2, p. 104-122
Keywords [en]
Assessment for learning, formative classroom practice, mathematics, teaching, teacher change
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
didactics of mathematics; educational work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-130287DOI: 10.1080/20004508.2016.1275185OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-130287DiVA, id: diva2:1065495
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Note

Originally included in thesis in manuscript form/as oral presentation with published abstract titled "The characteristics of formative assessment that enhance student achievement in mathematics"

Available from: 2017-01-16 Created: 2017-01-16 Last updated: 2018-06-25Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Professional development in formative assessment: effects on teacher classroom practice and student achievement
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Professional development in formative assessment: effects on teacher classroom practice and student achievement
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The potential of formative assessment, evident in several research reviews, has raised the interest in many countries to invest in reform initiatives to develop its use. However, implementation of formative assessment is not straightforward and there is a lack of knowledge about how to design appropriate professional development. The intervention study presented in this thesis aimed to see if a random selection of teachers, participating in a professional development program with many contact hours and substantial support of an expert, implemented formative assessment in a way that increased their students’ learning in mathematics. It also aimed to examine the reasons for the teachers’ changes in their classroom practice.

The twenty-two year 4 teachers attended a professional development program in formative assessment in mathematics. A mixed methods approach used classroom observations, teacher interviews, questionnaire surveys and student mathematics tests to investigate the effects on teacher classroom practice and student achievement.

It was found that the teachers trained in formative assessment built on their previous formative classroom practice and added new formative assessment activities into their mathematics classroom practice to a level that had significant impact on student achievement in mathematics (p = .036, d = .66). The teachers developed their formative assessment practice in three dimensions: key processes in teaching and learning, agents in the classroom, and the length of the formative assessment cycle.

The reasons for teachers ́ implementation of new formative assessment activities were well explained by the expectancy-value theory of achievement motivation. Important aspects of the professional development program were: (1) A formative and process-oriented character; (2) Activities directly useable in classrooms; (3) Experience of using formative assessment activities; (4) Connection between theory and practice; (5) Time; and (6) Knowledgeable support.

The thesis shows that it was possible to provide sufficient support to a random selection of teachers for them to develop their formative assessment practice in a way that improved student achievement. However, this thesis also indicates that it can be expected that teachers would need substantial time and support to achieve such developments in their classroom practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2015. p. 113
Series
Doktorsavhandlingar i pedagogiskt arbete, ISSN 1650-8858 ; 1650-8858
Keywords
formative assessment, mathematics education, professional development, teacher education, student achievement
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-102394 (URN)978-91-7601-256-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-05-22, Naturvetarhuset, N320, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-04-30 Created: 2015-04-23 Last updated: 2018-06-25Bibliographically approved

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Andersson, CatarinaPalm, Torulf

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