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Formative assessment and re-action : a theory-seeking case study crossing the bridge from theory to practice and back again : a thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education at Massey University
Formative assessment is increasingly being recognised for its potential to enhance learning. Studies from the United Kingdom and New Zealand have revealed that frequently classroom teachers are engaged in formative assessment practices without being aware of it, or are inefficient users of formative assessment information. This research used a theory-seeking case study approach in an attempt to establish how formative assessment was being used in three senior primary school teachers' classrooms. Through semi-structured interviews and in-depth classroom observations, five emergent themes were recognised. One of these themes, that formative assessment is on-going and a cyclical process, led to the development of a model of formative assessment in action. Key features of the model include the use of assessment information/indicators to decide appropriate actions, or more frequently re...actions, to create further learning opportunities. Appraisal and verification of the model by participants and other teachers from both the research school and others in the area, suggest that it is an accurate representation of how teachers do assess children for the purpose of enhancing their learning.