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Formative assessment: teacher knowledge and skills to make it happen
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Mathematics Education Research Centre (UMERC).
2014 (English)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Several studies have demonstrated that substantial learning gains are possible when teachers use formative assessment in their classroom practice. At the heart of most definitions of formative assessment lies the idea of collecting evidence of students’ thinking and learning, and based on this information modifying teaching to better meet students’ needs. Such regulation of learning processes would require skills to elicit the thinking underlying students’ oral and written responses, and the capacity to make suitable instructional decisions based on this thinking. When the continuation of the teaching is contingent on the information that appears in such assessments additional knowledge and skills are required compared with a more traditional approach to teaching.

Today, sufficient knowledge about how to help in-service teachers and pre-service teachers develop their formative classroom practice is lacking. In the pursuit of gathering research evidence about the specific content and design of professional development programs and teacher education courses in formative assessment, it is important that we know what kinds of skills and knowledge teachers need to successfully orchestrate a formative classroom practice.

The aim of this study is to identify activities and characterize the knowledge and skills that a teacher of mathematics uses in her formative assessment practice during whole-class lessons.

The study is a case study of a teacher’s formative assessment practice during mathematics lessons in year 5. The data were analysed by identifying a) the formative assessment practice b) the teacher’s activities during the formative assessment practice and c) the teacher knowledge and skills used during the activities.

The main result of the study shows that the formative assessment practice is a very complex, demanding and difficult task for the teacher in several ways. For example, during short term minute-by-minute formative assessment practice the teacher uses knowledge and skills to eliciting, interpreting and use the elicited information to modify instruction to better meet student learning needs. She also helps students’ to engage in common learning activities and take co-responsibility of their learning. In the minute-by-minute formative assessment practice the teacher also handles new mathematics (to her), unpredictable situations and makes decisions about teaching and learning situations in a matter of seconds. 

 

Abstract [sv]

Ett flertal studier har visat att implementering av formativ bedömning ökar elevers lärande i matematik. I hjärtat av de flesta definitioner av formativ bedömning finns iden om att samla belägg om elevers tänkande och lärande, och utifrån beläggen anpassa undervisningen så att den möter elevernas behov. En sådan reglering av lärandeprocessen kräver kunskap om hur man framkallar den typ av svar som visar hur elever tänker. Det krävs också förmåga att välja ett lämpligt sätt anpassa undervisningen. När undervisningen kontinuerligt anpassas efter den typ av bedömning som beskrivits, så behövs ytterligare kunskap jämfört med den kunskap som behövs för att genomföra en mer traditionell undervisning.

Idag saknas tillräcklig kunskap om hur man kan utbilda och stödja lärare och blivande lärare att utveckla sin formativ bedömningspraktik. För att veta vilket innehåll och vilken design kompetensutbildningar i formativ bedömning bör ha så är det viktigt att vi vet vilka specifika kunskaper och förmågor en lärare behöver för att kunna genomföra en framgångsrik formativ bedömning.

Studiens syfte är att identifiera aktiviteter och att karaktärisera de kunskaper och förmågor en matematiklärare använder i sin formativa bedömningspraktik under lektioner i helklass.

Fallstudien följer en lärares formativa bedömningspraktik under matematiklektioner i årskurs 5. Data analyserades med avseende på a) lärarens formativa bedömningspraktik b) lärarens aktiviteter under denna praktik och c) de kunskaper och förmågor som läraren använde för att genomföra dessa aktiviteter.  Studiens huvudresultat visar att den formativa bedömningspraktiken är mycket komplex, krävande och svår på flera sätt för läraren att göra. Till exempel, under en formativ bedömningspraktik som sker minut-för-minut så använder läraren kunskaper och förmågor för att framkalla, tolka och använda den informationen för att bättre kunna möta elevens behov. Läraren hjälper också eleverna att engagera sig i och ta ansvar för sitt lärande under lärandeaktiviteter. Under denna praktik så hanterar läraren även för henne ny matematik, oförutsägbara situationer och fattar beslut om undervisning inom loppet av sekunder.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2014. , 78 p.
Series
Licentiatavhandlingar i pedagogiskt arbete, ISSN 1654-2088 ; 15
Keyword [en]
formative assessment, teacher knowledge, mathematics, interactive dialouges, compulsory school
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
didactics of mathematics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-91247ISBN: 978-91-7601-104-1 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-91247DiVA: diva2:735415
Presentation
2014-08-19, Naturvetarhuset sal 460, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15 (Swedish)
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-08-21 Created: 2014-07-27 Last updated: 2017-05-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Formativ bedömning och självreglerat lärande: vad behöver vi för att få det att hända?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Formativ bedömning och självreglerat lärande: vad behöver vi för att få det att hända?
2017 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Formative assessment and self-regulated learning : what do we need to make it happen?
Abstract [en]

Previous research has shown that substantial learning gains are possible when formative assessment and support for students’ development of self-regulated learning skills are implemented in classroom practice. Such implementation is not straightforward and there is a need for both further understanding of the knowledge and skills teachers require to practice formative assessment, and further insights into how different characteristics of ordinary teaching practices support students’ in becoming proficient self-regulated learners. This doctoral thesis includes a licentiate thesis and two articles. In the licentiate thesis, classroom observations are used to investigate the knowledge and skills used by a teacher engaged in a comprehensive formative classroom practice. The results show that the teacher's practice is complex and requires advanced knowledge and skills that are often used simultaneously and under time pressure. For example, the teacher, sometimes in a matter of seconds, handles new (to her) mathematics, makes inferences from students’ responses to their understanding, and based on these inferences makes decisions about her teaching. The first article is a literature review focusing on the effects of formative assessment on student achievement in mathematics since there is a lack of knowledge of the effects of formative assessment on student achievement, in particular for subject areas such as mathematics. In the review, a systematic literature search is made for articles studying the effects of both teacher-centered approaches and approaches emphasizing student involvement in the formative assessment processes. The latter type of approaches includes teacher practices that support students’ development of aspects of self-regulated learning competence. The results show that all approaches included in the review have significant positive effects on student achievement in mathematics. The second article examines in what ways learning situations in authentic classroom practices provide opportunities for the students to develop self-regulated learning skills, and how students experience these opportunities. The analysis is based on data from classroom observations of three teachers’ mathematics lessons, and on interviews with their students. The results show that instruction in self-regulated learning skills mostly occurred implicitly, and the opportunities to develop the skills were mainly provided and experienced at the observational level.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2017. 63 p.
Series
Doktorsavhandlingar i pedagogiskt arbete, ISSN 1650-8858 ; 77
Series
Umeå Studies in the Educational Sciences, 23
Keyword
formative assessment, assessment for learning, self-regulated learning, teacher knowledge, mathematics education, formativ bedömning, bedömning för lärande, självreglerat lärande, lärares kunskap, matematikdidaktik
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
didactics of mathematics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-135032 (URN)978-91-7601-705-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-06-08, Humanisthuset, Hörsal F, Umeå, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-05-18 Created: 2017-05-16 Last updated: 2017-05-18Bibliographically approved

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