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Title: Embedding formative assessment in the writing curriculum
Author: Reid, Lesley
ISNI:       0000 0001 3513 0655
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2005
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This study investigates teachers' experience of using formative assessment to enhance pupil learning in writing. Teachers were presented with a cognitive resource comprising formative assessment principles, strategies and techniques. They were asked to integrate this with existing practice in teaching and assessing writing and to reflect on the process. A mentored action research approach was adopted in a project which involved ten class teachers and five promoted staff, working in upper primary classes in three Scottish schools. Teachers maintained reflective lesson logs and gathered examples of pupil texts over the course of one academic year. These were used to focus discussion in 45 semistructured interviews with the teachers. Pupil comments collected during lesson plenary sessions and interviews with promoted staff provided data triangulation. Qualitative data in the form of transcribed interviews and documents were managed and organised using NVivo software and subjected to interpretive, interactional analysis. The findings of the study indicated that the primary teachers were able to integrate a variety of formative assessment techniques and strategies with existing practice and thereby enhance pupil learning. This involved the teachers in calling upon their prior knowledge of individual pupils and experience of teaching and assessing writing. Pupil learning gains were evidenced by improved skills in text production, the development of writer's `voice', increased feelings of pupil self efficacy and enhanced metacognitive development. A model is proposed for sharing with pupils a hierarchy of learning goals in writing through `crafting', `coaching' and `open' writing contexts. Teacher salience skills were shown to be important for the realisation of pupil learning gains. The project findings also indicated that, as formative assessment principles became embedded into practice, a more permeable relationship developed between teachers' formative and summative assessment understandings and practices
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral