Some of those strategies, which I have had the opportunity to observe and critically analyse during my preliminary attachment, are: feedback, self- assessment and classroom discussion.
FEEDBACK ‘Unless students are able to use the feedback to produce improved work, neither they nor those giving the feedback will know that it has been effective’.
Those assessments have helped teachers to see what works and what does not in terms of student learning.
However, they usually used this information to assess their own lesson and/or the level of knowledge and understanding of the class, rather than to make formal assessments which could be fed back to pupils (Preliminary Attachment, 2010).
Recently, researchers have increasingly recognised the importance of formative assessment in improving children’s progress and attainment (Bone, 1999; Wiliam et al., 2004).
Although evidences provided in this work suggest that policies have underestimated the complexity of this kind of assessment- and that some teachers find it difficult to do- the benefits of formative assessment can far outweigh the disadvantages.
In the light of these, this work aims to define what assessment is, placing particular focus in the formative assessment.
It will also critically analyse how formative assessment may support pupils’ learning, supporting the analysis with theories on child development and children’s learning, as well as observations and evidence from school experiences.
Since then a substantial number of studies, particularly in the UK, at all levels of education have attempted to align formative assessment with contemporary psychological theories of learning (Gipps et al.,1995; Boud 1995; Black et al., 2002; Hall and Burke 2003) and others have also taken account of sociological perspectives (Torrance and Pryor 1998; Filer and Pollard 2000; Ecclestone 2002).
In addition, in order to integrate formative assessment into classroom practice, a range of assessment strategies and techniques are currently in place aiming to improve pupils’ learning.