Formative assessment for all: a whole school approach to pedagogic change



Priestley M & Sime D (2005) Formative assessment for all: a whole school approach to pedagogic change. Curriculum Journal, 16 (4), pp. 475-492.

Scotland’s Assessment is for Learning initiative (AifL) seeks to introduce a coordinated national system for assessment in schools. Formative assessment is a major plank in this. The initiative has moved beyond its pilot phase and it is intended that it will be adopted by all Scottish schools by 2007. This paper draws upon the case study of a primary school that has adopted a whole school approach to enacting the formative assessment principles of AifL since 2004. The paper utilises Margaret Archer’s social theory to analyse and explain the processes of change that have underpinned the development of formative assessment in the school. It argues that meaningful change in schools can be stimulated by encouraging socio-cultural interaction amongst practitioners, via the impetus provided by a central initiative combined with the creation of spaces for dialogue and the extension of professional trust and autonomy.

formative assessment; assessment for learning; change; innovation; morphogenesis; morphostasis; Curriculum-based assessment Change Scotland; Educational tests and measurements Scotland; Evaluation research Scotland Case studies

Curriculum Journal: Volume 16, Issue 4

Publication date31/12/2005
Publication date online16/08/2006
PublisherTaylor and Francis

People (1)


Professor Mark Priestley

Professor Mark Priestley

Professor, Education