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Professional Development

Children's Books




Active Learning  Through Formative Assessment
By Shirley Clarke, University of London

Distributed by Richard C. Owen Publishers, Inc.
Published by Hodder Education, UK

2008 Pb  172 pages
Item #553
ISBN 978 0 340 97445 2
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Shirley Clarke’s latest book, following her hugely popular Formative Assessment in Action (2005), puts formative assessment within the context of active learning - pupil engagement, effective dialogue and reflective thinking - and is packed with practical advice and examples from early years to secondary, across all subjects.

Central to the whole process of using assessment for (and as) learning is the way in which pupils become involved in all learning and assessment processes: the explanations and classroom examples in this book demonstrate why and how to do it. Drawn from across the age range, and all subjects, they exemplify effective learning objectives, clear success criteria, talk partner techniques, effective questioning, quality discussion with pupils, and self- and peer evaluation of work.

New themes include how to develop a growth mindset, so that pupils enjoy challenge rather than avoid it for fear of failure; how popular strategies such as thinking skills and building learning power complement formative assessment; and planning with key skills. The author also explains how to set up your own action research learning team in an individual school, a cluster of schools or any other educational setting and how best to support classroom teachers in their journey through the culture and practice of formative assessment.

Down to earth, practical and direct, this book gives busy teachers the essential ‘how to’ information they need, with clear principles and theory to underpin the wealth of practical advice and examples
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Reviewer comments:

We know that formative assessment is proven to both raise student learning and improve test scores.  We also know that formative assessment is often the missing link to POWERFUL instruction.  Shirley Clarke’s new book provides a framework for formative assessment and explores “what to do” and “how to think about it.”   

                                          Bonita DeAmicis

I like the fact that the learner is paramount throughout this book.  It's all about the student and how the student interacts with the learning. The teacher's role is well articulated but always written around what the teacher will do to support the learner and the learner's investment in their own learning. So the whole idea of "active learning" in the title really tells the story of what the book is about.
                                          Marilyn Duncan 

Too often in American schools assessment equates with increasing standardized test scores—assessment is done to children rather than with them.  This book provides a solid framework to help educators understand the importance of including students in the assessment process, as well as how to use assessment to promote learning.

Priscilla Gutierrez

For other books on assessment,
see Professional Books by Subject 



Author Bio:

Shirley Clarke is an Associate of the Institute of Education, University of London, and is much in demand as an education consultant, in the UK and internationally. Her course and training days for teachers, and ongoing involvement in action research, give her a down-to-earth perspective on day-to-day classroom realities. 

Shirley Clarke's books on formative assessment are published by Hodder Education in UK. Shirley Clarke's DVD's are published by Shirley Clarke in UK. We are honored to distribute her books and DVDs in North America. 

More Books by the Author
Formative Assessment in the
Secondary Classroom

Targeting Assessment in the Primary Classroom

Unlocking Formative Assessment: Practical Strategies for Enhancing Pupils' Learning in the Primary Classroom