During my preliminary attachment I noticed that teachers were assessing all the time and some of those assessments were going on also during teaching.
For example, while teaching, teachers picked up information about children’s knowledge through eavesdropping (where in group discussion, the teacher would stand by a table, but listening to the other table discussion instead) or questioning and they also assessed the level of understanding of the class through a quick quiz or game at the beginning or end of the lesson.
Moreover, studies indicate that summative assessment can have a negative impact on students’ motivation for learning, as rather than promoting ‘intrinsic’ motivation- in which they perform because they are interested and engaged with the work, summative assessment is believed to promote ‘extrinsic’ motivation, in which pupils simply respond to the promise of some kind of reward (Crooks, 1988; Sansome and Harackiewicz, 2000; Wynne, 2001).
On the other hand, assessment also has a formative function.
Those assessments have helped teachers to see what works and what does not in terms of student learning.
However, they usually used this information to assess their own lesson and/or the level of knowledge and understanding of the class, rather than to make formal assessments which could be fed back to pupils (Preliminary Attachment, 2010).
Assessment has become a very important part of education process and it has advanced considerably over the past years (Johnston et al., 2009; Hall and Burk, 2004) and, as our education system becomes more curriculum focused, the emphasis moves increasingly to how teachers teach and how children are taught (Butt, 2010).
In this view, learning is concerned with the construction of understanding, skills and attitudes (Johnston, 1996; Pritchard, 2005).
Since then a substantial number of studies, particularly in the UK, at all levels of education have attempted to align formative assessment with contemporary psychological theories of learning (Gipps et al.,1995; Boud 1995; Black et al., 2002; Hall and Burke 2003) and others have also taken account of sociological perspectives (Torrance and Pryor 1998; Filer and Pollard 2000; Ecclestone 2002).
In addition, in order to integrate formative assessment into classroom practice, a range of assessment strategies and techniques are currently in place aiming to improve pupils’ learning.