Assessment in a differentiated classroom

Assessment at every stage can help teachers match teaching/ learning plans to pupils’ learning needs. Carol Tomlinson and Tonya Moon explain

ARCHITECTS ARE ADVISERS in the building process, making a complex system manageable by formulating critical decisions, setting quantifiable results, and working closely with others while encouraging colleagues to employ the industry’s best practices. The role of the teacher is not dissimilar. The teacher, too, works in a complex system serving as a change agent for pupils. An effective teacher makes the curriculum (the “what” of teaching) accessible through appropriate teaching practices (the “how” of teaching).

What we know
● Pre-assessment and formative assessment are critical tools to design teaching that addresses varied learner needs.
● Pupil achievement benefits when teachers use pre-assessment and formative assessment data to plan teaching to address learner needs.
● Pupil investment in learning and achievement benefit when pupils know the learning goals and use feedback from formative assessment to achieve those goals.

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June 2011