Coffey, J. E., Hammer, D., Levin, D. M., & Grant, T. (2011). The missing disciplinary substance of formative assessment. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 48, 1109- 1136.
Coffey and colleagues argue for the inclusion of disciplinary substance in the literature on formative assessment. The authors maintain that formative assessment scholars typically focus on teachers’ instructional strategies, techniques, and procedures rather than disciplinary substance of teaching and learning. Coffey and colleagues discuss four prominent research articles on formative assessment practices, presenting excerpts of student-teacher classroom dialogue and author conclusions, and also highlight the lack of attention to disciplinary substance or students’ thinking regarding subject content. The authors discuss relevant research on learning and on epistemologies and then present a detailed example of formative assessment that includes significant attention to disciplinary substance. Coffey and colleagues conclude that researchers and practitioners must reframe their approach to formative assessment, focusing less on strategies and techniques and more on disciplinary content and student thinking.
Action for Learning, Formative Assessment