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ERIC Number: EJ778149
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 19
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-0969-594X
Commitment, Compliance and Comfort Zones: The Effects of Formative Assessment on Vocational Education Students' Learning Careers
Ecclestone, Kathryn
Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, v14 n3 p315-333 Nov 2007
Research evidence that well-executed formative assessment raises achievement and enhances motivation and autonomy has influenced policy and practice in schools and universities in the United Kingdom. Formative assessment is also built into the aims and assessment activities of outcome-based qualifications in post-compulsory education. Behind these apparently positive developments are important questions about the nature of motivation, autonomy and achievement that formative assessment fosters. This paper draws on empirical studies of assessment practices in advanced level vocational qualifications for 16-19-year-olds in the UK. It argues that a socio cultural understanding of assessment illuminates the ways in which political concerns about engagement and participation, rather than goals of subject-based knowledge, encourage formative assessment practices that improve rates of achievement whilst encouraging instrumental and limiting forms of motivation and autonomy. This raises questions about the acceptable trade-off between achievement and education for students whose learning careers already put them at a disadvantage.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom