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Toward a Participation Metaphor for Formative Assessment

Fri, April 17, 12:25 to 1:55pm, Hyatt, East Tower - Purple Level, Riverside West

Abstract

The practice of formative assessment has been defined in a variety of ways. While all definitions describe it as a practice of eliciting evidence of student thinking during instruction, they diverge on the role information elicited about student thinking is, or is not, used to inform instruction. In this paper, identify a continuum for previous definitions of formative assessment, and then use the sociocultural framing of communities of practice (Wenger, 1998) to highlight the utility of thinking about formative assessment as participation in a set of classroom practices, rather than focusing exclusively on information elicitation and use. We illustrate how the sociocultural perspective can help focus upon changes in participation in the practices of multiple communities over time.

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