I found “MSc school leadership” programme to be quiet interesting and useful experience that I could ever have. Despite the fact that the courses are intensive and some of them were quiet arduous to cover in a week or more time, I received much knowledge that is closely related to my job. Of all courses, I liked most the course “Professional Identity”, my choice is explained by my great respect to the Professor Duishon. Not only did he provide much information about “teacher professional identity”, but also he himself served the best sample of professional teacher.
Having learnt enough, we are close to finish, which means we are to write our thesis papers. I am not going to concentrate on a topic of professional identity while writing my thesis, though I was inspired enough. The last course “Assessment: Theories, policies and practices” inspired me more and made me look at assessment in education from absolutely different angle. In a hope that my small research will make other teachers to change their perception of formative assessment as well, my focus is going to be on “Formative assessment as a tool to improve student academic performance”
In our accountability environment assessment has become a tool solely for marking and grading while its initial application is of improving student achievement. “Marking is usually conscientious but often fails to offer guidance on how work can be improved” (Black & Wiliam, 1998 p.141), while effectively used formative assessment can provide direction for teachers on how to reconsider their practice and adapt to meet students’ need. Chappius & Stiggins, 2002) Many studies claim the significance of teacher professional development programs in terms of both improving students’ learning and overall educational improvement, while formative assessment seems to be another “magic bullet” (Black & Wiliam, 1998 p.140), which may contribute more. Therefore, I found research into assessment as a tool to improve student achievement useful in Kazakhstani context. I am eager to learn how formative assessment is perceived by teachers in my school and how formative assessment helps them to improve student’s learning, if it helps, in what ways. I hope that my study will be beneficial both for me and for my school.
Black, P. J. & Wiliam, D. (1998b) Inside the black box: raising standards through classroom assessment (London, King’s College London School of Education).
Chappuis, S., & Stiggins, J. (2002). Classroom assessment for learnng. Educational Leadership, 60, 40-43.
Heritage, M. (2007). Formative Assessment: What Do Teachers Need to Know and Do? Phi Delta Kappan, 140-145.