Primary Blogging

Collecting blogs about primary education

Assessment for Learning can harm learning

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It is obvious that we should assess what pupils can do. It is obvious that a part of the reason for this is to ascertain what we have to teach them. Assessment for Learning gives us a load of ways in which we can do that, so all great.

Except it’s not. As David Didau points out repeatedly since he’s got into Robert Bjork’s work, we can only measure performance, not learning.

If you agree with me in that it is essential that pupils practice using the knowledge and procedures they have been taught in order to ensure it enters their long term memory, you should probably agree that Assessment for Learning can give the wrong impression of when to move on. Many many educational theorists – the first I came across was Ted Wragg and he was hardly an educational traditionalist – have suggested we don’t allow pupils enough…

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