Pedagogy in Theory and in Practice: Formative and Summative Assessments in Classrooms and in Systems

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

15 Citations (Scopus)


Many texts on pedagogy show a surprising neglect of assessment. In analyses of the broad social, cultural and political contexts in which education is embedded, assessment is treated as part of ‘instruction’, i.e. the details of the teaching and learning practices in schools and their classrooms. However, even where these practices are discussed, little is said about assessment apart from reference to the negative effects of accountability testing. This chapter will set out a simple model of the planning and implementation of ‘instruction’ in which the functions and influences of both formative and summative assessment play their intrinsic role. This will be applied in discussion of several problems, notably the mis-interpretations of formative assessments, the perceived discontinuities between the formative and the summative functions of assessment, and the need to enhance the professional skills of teachers in respect of their summative responsibilities. Finally, consideration of the differences between countries in respect of the role of teachers in high-stakes assessments leads back to the broader concept of pedagogy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationValuing assessment in science education: Pedagogy, curriculum, policy.
EditorsDeborah Corrigan, Richard Gunstone, Alister Jones
Place of PublicationDordrecht, New York
ISBN (Print)9789400766686
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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