Herman, J., Osmundson, E., Dai, Y., Ringstaff, C., & Timms, M. (2011, November). Relationships between teacher knowledge, assessment practice, and learning- Chicken, egg, or omelet (CRESST Report 809). Los Angeles, CA: University of California, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).
This study examines teacher pedagogical content knowledge, formative assessment practices, and student learning in the context of upper elementary science education. Teachers (N = 39) were randomly assigned to one of two groups: treatment (2 days of formative assessment professional development (PD), plus regular follow-up sessions) and control (no formative assessment PD). Researchers measured teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge, teachers’ assessment practices (weekly online logs), and their students’ performance on an end of the year assessment. Herman and colleagues found that treatment teachers significantly out-performed control teachers on pedagogical content knowledge and showed significantly greater use of formative assessment practices. Results also showed that teachers’ formative assessment use (i.e., frequent feedback on student work) was positively associated with children’s end of the year performance, controlling for the effect of students’ prior ability. Herman and colleagues discuss study implications and conclude that study findings further document the power of formative assessment.
Formative Assessment, Professional Development