Practical assessment for learning

Lee, Clare (2012). Practical assessment for learning. In: Lee, Clare; Johnston-Wilder, Sue and Ward-Penny, Robert eds. A Practical Guide to Teaching Mathematics in the Secondary School. Routledge Teaching Guides. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 13–20.



The first and most important thing to say about ‘Assessment for Learning’ is that it is not a set of techniques or recipes but rather a way of thinking. If you are using ‘traffic lights’ or drawing names out of a pot in order to choose who answers a question, you may or may not be using assessment for learning. Assessment for Learning (AfL) involves both you and your pupils knowing what they need to learn, establishing how well the pupils are learning from any activities they engage in and modifying learning plans in order to increase that learning. In fact Perrenoud (1998) stated that when AfL is truly in place it will seem to disappear as teacher and learner move together towards enhanced learning. Therefore AfL is not a series of add-on ideas, but fundamental to every lesson. As teaching has historically often been ‘done to’ learners, as a student teacher you may not have a series of ideas from your own experience which will enable you to implement the principles of AfL, therefore this chapter sets out to provide some practical ideas for increasing Assessment for Learning in your classroom.

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