Using Formative Assessment to Build School and Teacher Leadership

In a recent blog post by Bryn Williams – Formative Leadership: Using Formative Assessment as a Style of Leadership – he wondered what formative leadership might look like in action using the five key strategies put forward by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). The leadership model that Bryn envisions is one that is the foundation of our Keeping Learning on Track™ (KLT™) teacher professional learning solution, also built on those five key strategies.

These five strategies were developed in part by Dylan Wiliam, to support his larger idea, namely that students and teachers can continuously use evidence of learning to adapt what happens in the classroom to affect positive change:

1. Clarifying, sharing, and understanding learning intentions and criteria for success – getting the students to really understand what their classroom experience will be and how their success will be measured.

2. Engineering effective classroom discussions, activities, and learning tasks that elicit evidence of learning – developing effective classroom instructional strategies that allow for the measurement of success.

3. Providing feedback that moves learning forward – working with students to provide them the information they need to better understand problems and solutions.

4. Activating learners as instructional resources for one another – getting students involved with each other in discussions and working groups can help improve student learning.

5. Activating learners as owners of their own learning – We wrote a recent blog on this topic: self-regulation of learning leads to student performance improvement.

Building a formative assessment-embedded, teacher professional learning plan like KLT, that is led by teachers does work. Check out the video below, that Bryn also posted to his blog, for some meaningful research and insight that proves formative assessment can have a positive impact.

Building a leadership model using Dylan Wiliam’s strategies would help to empower teachers to work collaboratively with each other and build off each other’s’ classroom success. What do you think?

Photo credit to Kristina D.C. Hoeppner.