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(De-)formative assessment: is formative assessment as benign as we think?

posted on 2023-06-08, 05:46 authored by Barbara CrossouardBarbara Crossouard
Formative assessment has been taken up in many institutionalised learning contexts over the last decade, often in the guise of 'Assessment for Learning' (AfL). Both terms have largely positive associations - it seems to be assumed that formative assessment or AfL will simply be a 'good thing'. Drawing upon data from a recent research project involving in-depth case studies of two Scottish primary school classrooms, the presentation will argue that these assumptions misrecognise the possibility of undesirable learning and the work of formative assessment in securing the internalization of rather problematic norms. My analysis of the micro-practices of formative assessment in these classrooms suggests how they are imbued with social class and gendered hierarchies which could not be addressed using the language available to teachers for their formative assessment commentary. The presentation concludes by considering implications for curriculum and assessment development.


Publication status

  • Published

Presentation Type

  • other

Event name

(De-) formative assessment: is formative assessment as benign as we think?

Event location

Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge

Event type


Event date

15 May 2012

Department affiliated with

  • Education Publications

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