I think that every six months or so every school district, state education, and educational publication should publish its current definition of all educational terms. I have looked at four different educators’ definitions of formative assessment and those definitions differ drastically. One educator feels that formative assessment focuses on teacher instruction. Another feels that it focuses on the assessments that are given periodically. The third concentrates on formative assessment as the weekly quizzes that a teacher gives. The fourth sees formative assessment as the feedback that teachers give students. Since these educators do not define formative assessment in the same way, they get confused when each other talks. They do not have the same language. Therefore, they do not work together.
When will teachers accept a common vocabulary for the good of all teachers? When will educators become a community of learners instead of educators on different pages? Let’s work together to help improve student learning!
Use a district wide Wiki to share and develop common definitions and provide examples of that definition. Have educators build on the components of that definition.