Supporting Teachers Statewide in the Formative Assessment Process- Margaret Heritage

Assessment Learning Network, May 8, 2018


Supporting Teachers Statewide in the Formative Assessment Process

Effective formative assessment practice requires teachers to have a range of knowledge and skills so that they can orchestrate an extraordinary number of complex judgments in the course of a lesson to continuously advance their students’ learning. Drawing from the Formative Assessment for Students and Teachers (FAST) State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards (SCASS) definition of formative assessment (FAST SCASS, 2017), Dr. Heritage considers the formative assessment knowledge and skills, the disciplinary knowledge, and the habits of practice that enable teachers to successfully implement formative assessment in their classrooms. A key challenge for teachers and those who support them is how to ensure that teachers have these requisite knowledge, skills, and habits of practice, so that they can take advantage of what we know can have powerful and beneficial effects on all students’ learning. In this regard, she also discusses the implications for in-service and pre-service educators and the organizations that represent them, and offers some specific recommendations for teachers’ professional learning.

Framing Questions

  1. What are the knowledge, skills and habits of practice teachers need to effectively implement formative assessment in their classrooms?
  2. Given these requisite skills, knowledge, and habits of practice, what are the implications for those who support teachers to be effective formative assessment practitioners?
  3. How is Michigan supporting teachers to develop these skills, knowledge, and habits of practice? Are there areas that need to be/could be strengthened?
Event Resources

Presentation Video

Supporting Teachers Statewide in the Formative Assessment Process

Presenter: Margaret Heritage

Margaret Heritage is an independent consultant in education and a senior advisor to WestEd. Previously, she spent 22 years at UCLA, first as principal of the laboratory school of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, and then as an Assistant Director at the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing. Before joining UCLA, Heritage worked for many years in schools in the United Kingdom. She was a member of the faculty in the Department of Education at the University of Warwick, England, and has taught in the Departments of Education at UCLA and Stanford University. Her work is published in peer-reviewed journals, edited books, and practitioner journals.

Learning Moments

Other countries organize their thinking about assessment into categories Assessment for Learning and Assessment of Learning, and do not use the term "formative assessment." How do you explain this?
Are you familiar with examples of federal of federal or state education policies that support and spread formative practice to scale?
What professional learning models effectively support practicing teachers and administrators who seek to deepen their understanding and become accomplished with the application of formative assessment practice?
What conditions does a school district need to create to emphasize and shift assessment practice to more assessment for learning and less assessment of learning?
What could pre-service preparation programs and induction programs do to better support novice teachers in their acquisitions and use of the formative assessment process?

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