09 SES 07 C, Discussing Assessment Related Education Policy and Research
The concept of formative evaluation has spread to many countries of the world in the last few years (Starý, 2007; Looney, 2009; Marshall, 2011; McMillan, 2007). Black and William (1998; 2005) moved the quality formative assessment, and empirically demonstrated the causal relationship between formative assessment and the provision of better learning outcomes of students. OECD was implemented on formative assessment in an extensive project which described the formative assessment in German, French, and English literature, and also on case studies of particular schools in eight developed countries (OECD, 2005).
The concept of formative assessment can be understood not only as a theoretical concept, but it is also noticeably headed towards the teaching practice of school education (Black, Harrison, Lee, Marshall, & William, 2003; 2004). To a certain extent, it reassesses priorities in the perspective of teaching quality. The concept of formative assessment is very broad for empirical validation, and it is not easy to understand it in its complexity. Therefore, we decided to focus in the context of formative assessment on methods of teacher’s work with educational aims, and their usage in providing feedback to pupils. One of the key assumptions of quality student learning is generally considered to be an understanding of what is to be taught, where the educational activities are aimed, and how to find out that they master the specific knowledge and skills. For this purpose, some specific learning strategies have been developed, such as goal setting and providing feedback, advanced organizers, and note taking, as well as final summarizing. All these strategies support not only the understanding of teaching content, but also its effective fixation in pupils’ long-term memory (Marzano, Gaddy, & Dean, 2000; Hattie 2009).
The aim of setting goals in education is to give a clearer structure to students’ learning processes. If the learning objectives have to serve students well, it has to be understood by students, and students should identify with them. The giving feedback is essentially related to the setting of goals. If it is not clear to the students where they are going, they can hardly be given information about how they are doing. Positive impact of continuous feedback on the learning process has been clearly research demonstrated (Torrance & Pryor, 2001; Chappuis, 2005; Marshall, 2011; Shepard, 2012;).
At the theoretical level, knowledge about the use of learning goals and connection of goals with assessment in the Czech classroom are sufficiently widespread, they are also an integral part of initial and continuing teacher education in didactics. However, school education research suggests that the specific formative assessment methods appear sporadically within the real teaching in the classroom, and traditional approaches to evaluation persist (e.g. Dvořák at al., 2010; Novotná & Krabsová, 2013). Explicit setting of the learning objectives is rare in mainstream Czech schools, and the culture of classroom assessment has been underestimated over a long period (Santiago et al., 2012). We believe that the actions in improving teachers ‘competency to set goals and give effective formative feedback should be predated by real understanding (goal) What is the reality of setting goals and assessing at Czech schools and What are teachers’ beliefs about setting goals and assessment (research questions). This knowledge would help us to state realist goals and introduces sensitive approaches in teacher training.
Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (1998). Inside the Black Box: Raising Standards Through Classroom Assessment. Phi Delta Kappan, 2, 139–148. Retrieved from http://weaeducation.typepad.co.uk/files/blackbox-1.pdf Black, P., Harrison, Ch., Lee, C., Marshall, B., & Wiliam, D. (2003). Assessment for learning in the classroom: Putting it into practice. Maidenhead: Open University Press. Black, P., Harrison, Ch., Lee, C., Marshall, B., & Wiliam, D. (2004). Working inside the black box: Assessment for learning in the classroom. Phi Delta Kappan, 86(1), 8–21. Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (2005). Changing Teaching through Formative Assessment: Research and Practice. Formative Assessment. Paris: OECD. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/53/30/34260938.pdf Bloom, B. S. (ed.) (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, the classification of educational goals – Handbook I: Cognitive Domain New York: McKay. Chappuis, J. (2005). Helping Students Understand Assessment. Educational Leadership, 63(3), 39-43. Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing Grounded Theory. London: Sage. Dvořák, D., Starý, K., Urbánek, P., Chvál, M. & Walterová, E. (2010). Česká základní škola: Vícepřípadová studie. Praha: Karolinum. Hattie, J. (2009). Visible Learning; a synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement London; Routledge. Looney, J. W. (2009). Assessment and Innovation in Education. OECD Education Working Papers. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/222814543073 Marshall, B. (2011). Testing English. Formative and Summative Approaches to English Assessment. London: Continuum. Marzano, R. J., Gaddy, B.B., & Dean, C. (2000). What Works in Classroom Instruction. Aurora: McREL. Maxwell, J. A.(2005). Qualitative Research Design. An Interactive Approach. London: Sage. McMillan, J. H. (2007). Formative Classroom Assessment: theory into practice. NewYork : Teachers College Press. Novotná, K., & Krabsová, V. (2013). Formativní hodnocení: případová studie. Pedagogika, 63(3), 355–371. OECD. Formative Assessment: Improving Learning in Secondary Classrooms. (2005). OECD: OECD Publishing. Santiago, P., Gilmore, A., Nusche, D., & Sammons, P. (2012). OECD Reviews of Evaulation and Assessment in Education: Czech Republic 2012. OECD Publishing. Available from http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/33/47/49479976.pdf; Shepard, L. A. (2012). Assessment lessons from K-12 education research: Knowledge representation, learning, and motivation. AIP Conference Proceedings, 1413(1), 73-76. doi:10.1063/1.3679997 Starý, K. (2007). Formativní hodnocení ve školní výuce. In D. Greger & V. Ježková (Eds.), Školní vzdělávání. Zahraniční trendy a inspirace (s. 221–242). Praha: Karolinum. Torrance, H., & Pryor, J. (2001). Developing Formative Assessment in the Classroom: using action research to explore and modify theory. British Educational Research Journal, 27(5), 615–631.
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