Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (2010). A pleasant surprise. Phi Delta Kappan, 92(1), 47-48.
Black and Wiliam reflect on their 1998 publication, Inside the Black Box: Raising Standards through Classroom Assessment, focusing on why it was well received and how it has influenced thinking about formative assessment and teacher practice. The authors note reasons for the positive reception which include grounding in evidence-based research, a thorough review of the literature, and practical suggestions to make assessment more effective. Black and Wiliam discuss advances in understandings of formative feedback (e.g., the central role of interactive dialogue) since the article was published. They maintain that if they wrote the paper today, they would make a stronger argument for the fundamental change needed in teacher practice to effectively incorporate the formative assessment process into classrooms. Black and Wiliam conclude that research is needed to better understand the varying benefits of different types of formative assessment.