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ERIC Number: EJ850378
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 2
ISSN: ISSN-0276-928X
A Work in Progress
Steiny, Julia
Journal of Staff Development, v30 n3 p32-37 Sum 2009
Sparking a flame of mutual professional development at Twin Groves Middle School, in Illinois' Kildeer District 96 was a formative assessment. "Formatives," as the practitioners call them, are a technique usually adopted as a safety net for struggling students. But as districts are finding out, they are also effective at honing teacher practice. Summative assessments--the grades on student work, marks on report cards, and public reports of state and district tests--summarize the extent to which students--and schools--have met expectations. Kildeer Superintendent Tom Many describes the perception of summative assessments as, "Write the grade in the book, shut the book, and move on--we're done. But the problem is that they don't tell teachers much about what is happening during instruction." Formative assessments are not meant for public viewing, but are written and given by a group of teachers to assess where the students' learning and skills are in relation to a current or upcoming unit or topic. Tom Many concludes, "For the last 40 years, something like 4,000 studies have demonstrated that when done well, formative assessments may be the most powerful tool we have for leveraging higher levels of student learning. You're not guessing. You teach from knowledge instead of intuition. Formative assessments inform teacher practice. The more informed teachers are, the better their lesson plans. The better the lessons, the better students learn. They're a logical link that develops good information that cascades though the whole teaching and learning process."
National Staff Development Council. 504 South Locust Street, Oxford, OH 45056. Tel: 513-523-6029; Fax: 513-523-0638; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois