what are the teachers’ perceptions and experiences, implementation of formative assessment in experimental schools in Kazakhstan

Nowadays in the light of changes in Kazakhstani education system approach to learner’s assessment also has been impacted by new standards. Assessment has also taken a new way to measure students’ performances. In Kazakhstani mainstream schools there is still a system of grading from “1” to “5” points, where “5” is the highest mark. Unfortunately there is no reflection for students of how to improve their skills in school subjects.

There are three types of assessment: diagnostic, formative and summative. The purpose of the first one is to test the level of knowledge at the beginning of learning or academic year, in formative assessment students should be supported and directed by a teacher to improve weak sides of their learning through regular and constructive feedback. Summative one is just a final measure of student’s performance.

Since I have graduated from Professional Development Program for Teachers in Nazarbayev University, Graduate School of Education where I found out about new assessment system, namely Formative Assessment and since I started working in the system of Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools I faced with the use of Formative Assessment. Undoubtedly, formative assessment is helpful students’ performance measurement tool indeed to support learners in developing their skills in various subjects.

Working in a new system, I noticed that due to the reason that everyone’s perceptions are different, hence each teacher can interpret formative assessment in his/her own way, so I became interested in the perceptions of formative assessment among local teachers in experimental schools who apply this stage of new assessment in their practice and to what extent is it helpful for teachers and supporting for students’ progress to assess learners by our teachers. Surely, all teachers in experimental schools follow new standards of assessment; however there is an assumption that formative assessment used in experimental schools in Kazakhstan sometimes reminds more summative assessment due to the reason that formative assessment takes places mainly through worksheets.

Taking into consideration that formative assessment is the pivotal stage for the learners’ progress in their final performance there is need to study teachers perceptions to find out how much effectively do teachers  use this meaningful stage of assessment in their practice. To sum up I chose this topic for my thesis because I would like to understand better perceptions of formative assessment as a new tool to measure and support learners’ progress by Kazakhstani teachers.


7 thoughts on “what are the teachers’ perceptions and experiences, implementation of formative assessment in experimental schools in Kazakhstan

  1. Dear Almira,

    Thank you a lot for touching upon such an important theme since currently various countries` national levels of assessment systems and practices including Kazakhstan are undergoing serious, major and fast changes. I agree with you on the point that most teachers consider formative assessment in diverse ways often as a summative one which is occurred only at the end of the term or year but not minute-by-minute so that teachers will be able to reflect and improve the quality of teaching and learning, address every student`s learning abilities and needs, use different teaching methods and assessment tools. Thus, such approaches towards assessment cannot fully determine whether or not the goals of education are being met and make informed decisions on instruction delivery and curriculum.


  2. Dear Almira,
    the topic you are raising is really important for our society today, as we are moving from traditional way of assessment to a new one you are going to discuss. Assessment plays a great role in teaching-learning process as it is not only the end of what you have studied but also a bridge for what you are going to teach next. How effective your assessment is, so effective the teaching-learning process will be. Formative assessment is sometimes misunderstood by teachers as we are accustomed to be accountabe for what we teach and assess, and that is why the worksheet is a kind of evidence for teachers. However, formative assessment could be conducted differently (in written way, orally). That is why, I hope your future thesis will be really beneficial for us as teachers to understand and apply formative assessment in a proper way.

    Thank you!


  3. Dear Almira,

    thank you for the post. The topic you have chosen is extremely important as currently Kazakhstani educational system is experiencing considerable change and implementation of criterion-based assessment is one of those changes.

    I consider that if you had taken a course on assessment during the fall session, you would have contributed knowledge that could be useful to your research. So far, I recommend you to read “Embedded Formative assessment” by Dylan Wiliam and watch his speech on assessment on Youtube. He is an expert in assessment and you will learn a lot from his books.
    Regarding the structure of your post, I can say that you have a good structure, ideas are stated clearly and you explained why you are focusing on this topic. I would only advise you to look through the post again and correct some minor grammar, punctuation mistakes.

    Good luck to you in this exciting adventure.


  4. Dear Almira,
    Glad to read your study topic and your plan of reseraching it. For the first time when I joined NIS teaching community I was really struggling with formative tasks. Reasons were countless: no sense of formative assessment since this type was not practised in other schools;no instructions given because school administration had little knowledge about formative assessment;teachers different perceptions of this unusual assessment method. 20 teachers explained it in 20 different ways that confused me totally. Parents are not willing to understand this “ineffective and strange” assessment, they demand to give this method of assessment.Moreover students understand it differently,because different subject teachers explain it in the way that they understand. All these difficulties are happening due to the lack of exact definition of formative assessment in intelligible language. I hope that your research will meet all teachers’ expectations including me to explain formative assessment appropirately. Good luck!


  5. Lots of great comments on a strong and interesting post. I agree with all the commenters who point out the relevance of this topic, one which will be in the front of our minds as we discuss learning and assessment in online environments.

    The central issue you raise can be illustrated by this comment which is diagnostic, formative and summative: I hope to give feedback for your first piece of writing, both in order to improve future writing, but also to count toward your final mark.

    Your writing does have some run-on or rambling sentences (see the sentence starting “working in a new system…”), which can be fixed with appropriate commas and periods. The main issue I see is overuse of connectors like “due to”, “hence”, and “so”. Generally, use one per sentence to connect two ideas. “Due to the rain, we didn’t play football. Instead, I went home and slept, so today I’m well rested.”



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