New Frontiers in Formative Assessment

New Frontiers in Formative Assessment

Edited by Pendred E. Noyce and Daniel T. Hickey, foreword by Lorrie A. Shepard
paper, 260 Pages
Pub. Date: December 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-117-8
Price: $33.00

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“Formative assessment is a powerful learning tool that is too seldom, too haphazardly, and too ineffectively used in the United States,” Pendred E. Noyce writes in the introduction to this volume. “The purpose of this book is to delve into why this is so and how it can be changed.”


This is an extraordinary book. The chapters cover practical applications of formative assessment in mathematics, science, and language arts, including the roles of technology and teachers’ professional learning. I found my own thinking about formative assessment constantly being stretched and challenged. Anyone who is involved in education will find something of value in this book. — Dylan Wiliam, professor emeritus, educational assessment, Institute of Education, University of London

New Frontiers in Formative Assessment brings needed attention to little-discussed issues on the testing debate, such as how to make formative assessment an intrinsic part of instruction rather than an interruption, and how an assessment can be ‘for’ rather than ‘of’ learning. It will be immensely helpful to planners and school teacher teams as well as to those who study assessment. — Ellen Guiney, senior advisor, Boston Plan for Excellence

Noyce and Hickey provide a more nuanced and thoughtful treatment of what we know about formative assessment than I have ever seen collected in one volume before. The resulting insights are compelling, exciting, and motivating, and will affect the work I do, starting immediately.” — Susan M. Brookhart, senior research associate, Center for Advancing the Study of Teaching and Learning, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Better use of formative assessment has the power to transform schools by bringing classrooms to life. With a practical orientation, rich examples, and proven experience, this team of writers in math, literacy, and science shows where the cutting edge in formative practices is now and where it is likely to extend in the near future. An excellent and timely contribution. — Jere Confrey, Joseph D. Moore Distinguished Professor, North Carolina State University

This book lives up to its name, presenting new ideas supported by examples and evidence about directions that formative assessment has taken in the past ten years. Reading the book made me reconsider some of the assessment practices I implement in order to better benefit my students. As with any instructional strategies, there is no one-size-fits-all effective classroom method, but this book does provide methods and ideas for improving teaching and learning. — Heidi Legg Burross, Teachers College Record

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About the Editors

Pendred E. Noyce is a physician, author, and trustee of the Robert Noyce Foundation, which supports innovation and improvement in public education in mathematics, science, and literacy. She was educated at Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Minnesota Hospitals, and she practiced internal medicine in the Boston area before pausing from medicine to work full-time on education issues. For eight years, she helped lead the NSF-funded Massachusetts State Systemic Initiative, PALMS, which inspired the development of curriculum frameworks, assessments, professional development, family involvement, and strategic planning for districts in mathematics and science statewide. As a founding funder and chair of the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy, Noyce has helped formulate and write policy papers on value-added assessment, opportunity to learn in science, and alternate math pathways to college readiness. She also serves on the boards of the Concord Consortium, where she is past chair; TERC; the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications; the Libra Foundation; and the Boston Plan for Excellence. She is the author of the Lexicon series of middle-grade fantasies for children and is a founder of Tumblehome Learning, Inc, which publishes science-based mysteries, biographies, and accompanying kits and activities for young people ages eight through sixteen.

Daniel T. Hickey is an associate professor in the Learning Sciences program at Indiana University in Bloomington, and a research professor with the Indiana University Center for Research on Learning and Technology. He completed his PhD in psychology at Vanderbilt University, where he studied with James Pellegrino and the other members of the Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt. He also completed postdoctoral training at the Center for Performance Assessment at the Educational Testing Service. He studies participatory approaches to assessment, feedback, evaluation, and motivation. He primarily works with technology-supported learning environments including video games, digital networks, and e-learning. He has directed projects in these areas funded by the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the MacArthur Foundation, and has published both practical and theoretical papers in leading journals.

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