Book Chapter

Developing teacher assessment: an Introduction



Gardner J (2010) Developing teacher assessment: an Introduction. In: Gardner J, Harlen W, Hayward L, Stobart G & Montgomery M (eds.) Developing Teacher Assessment. Maidenhead, England: McGraw Hill/Open University Press, pp. 1-11.

For many years now, schools and colleges across the UK have been swamped by 'must do' initiatives designed to improve learning, raise standards and meet a whole host of other complex educational aspirations. The shelves of head teachers' offices overflow with glossy guidance and resource packs – some excellent, some questionable and some downright faddish. While the tally of initiative-related materials from government bodies and local authorities competes with the commercial sector’s unsolicited freebies, 'initiative overload' deprives teachers of time for creativity and development. And head teachers everywhere seek shelter from what Coughlan (BBC News 2007a) suggests is either a 10-year 'blizzard of gimmicks' or a 'golden age'. Prominent among this onslaught of innovations, however, has been the positive emergence of research-proven formative assessment or assessment for learning (AfL) as a major ally in the pursuit of improved learning and raised standards. Its benefits have been proven in many contexts since the seminal review of Black and Wiliam (1998a) and Hargreaves (2005: 9) explains its wildfire success in schools as being due to '. . . the scientific evidence and the practice evidence [being] aligned and mutually supportive'.

Publication date31/12/2010
PublisherMcGraw Hill/Open University Press
Place of publicationMaidenhead, England

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Professor John Gardner

Professor John Gardner

Professor, Education