University of Cambridge > > Current Issues in Assessment > (De-) Formative assessment: is formative assessment as benign as we think?

(De-) Formative assessment: is formative assessment as benign as we think?

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Formative assessment has been taken up in many institutionalised learning contexts over the last decade, often in the guise of ‘Assessment for Learning’ (AfL). Both terms have largely positive associations – it seems to be assumed that formative assessment or AfL will simply be a ‘good thing’. Drawing upon data from a recent research project involving in-depth case studies of two Scottish primary school classrooms, the presentation will argue that such assumptions misrecognise the possibility of undesirable learning and the work of formative assessment in securing the internalisation of rather problematic norms. Dr Crossouard’s analysis of the micro-practices of formative assessment in these classrooms suggests how they are imbued with social class and gendered hierarchies which could not be addressed using the language available to teachers for their formative assessment commentary. The presentation concludes by considering implications for curriculum and assessment development.

This talk is part of the Current Issues in Assessment series.

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