Transformative Assessment in Action: An Inside Look at Applying the Process

Transformative Assessment in Action: An Inside Look at Applying the Process

Transformative Assessment in Action: An Inside Look at Applying the Process

Transformative Assessment in Action: An Inside Look at Applying the Process


In this follow-up to the best-selling Transformative Assessment, W. James Popham takes you inside the classrooms--and inside the heads--of teachers who are using the formative assessment process to improve student learning.

Instead of providing yet another collection of data-gathering techniques, Popham focuses on the real challenge of formative assessment: the decisions involved in its planning and implementation. When does it make the most sense to gather assessment data for the purpose of adjusting teaching and learning? What are the various ways in which the formative assessment process can be applied? How much and what kinds of preparation does formative assessment require? How does it fit into existing unit and lesson plans? How does it fit into preparation for high-stakes testing? And how can teachers best ensure that their formative assessment efforts will really make a difference?

According to the author, until the formative assessment process is used in every classroom, students will not be taught as well as they could be--as well as they should be. This book, which includes chapter-specific reflection questions perfect for professional learning communities, provides the practical guidance and models you need to turn "formative assessment talk" into "formative assessment action."


Not too long ago, I wrote a book about formative assessment (Popham, 2008). in that book’s first paragraph, I said I would be describing a kind of classroom assessment intended to “fundamentally transform the way a teacher teaches” (p. vii), and as a consequence, the book’s publisher gave it the title of Transforma tive Assessment. This book, the book you’ve just started to read, is a sequel to that earlier volume. in an effort to reduce confusion, I will refer to the earlier book as “TA1” and to this sequel as “TA2.”

Why a Sequel?

I’ve never written a sequel before. Oh, I’ve certainly revised books, especially textbooks, so that my publishers could sell updated versions of the books to those who want “the latest word.” But those revised editions aren’t really sequels; they are updated, yet structurally similar, versions of an already written book. in contrast, TA2 is a brand new book, with a mission that’s different from that of its elder sibling. Let me explain.

As Transformative Assessment made its way into educators’ hands, I found myself invited to make presentations and to direct workshops focused on how formative assessment could enhance teachers’ effectiveness and improve students’ learning. I was delighted to accept these invitations and, in 2009, I ended up making many such presentations throughout the United States, elaborating on the mission and content of TA1 and spelling out what formative assessment is, what it isn’t, how it is supported by solid research . . .

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