Supporting teacher responsiveness in assessment for learning through disciplined noticing

Bronwen Cowie, Christine Harrison, Jill Willis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
347 Downloads (Pure)


Assessment for learning (AfL) practices are commonly recom- mended as effective classroom strategies for providing teachers with information about student understanding. For teachers, the substantive potential of these AfL practices to inform student learn- ing actions depends on what teachers notice and select as a focus and how they interpret and act on the information they have. This paper suggests research on teacher professional noticing has something to offer in understanding how teacher AfL attention and actions are framed in the moment. It explains noticing as a responsive act that invites action that is an inclusive, dynamic and purposeful response to evidence of student ideas. Noticing is what enables a teacher to act on the fly because it informs and under- pins possible actions. Three frames of noticing are introduced to guide noticing and action – curriculum connoisseurship, cultural and community connectedness, and collaborative ways of working. Through consideration of classroom events using these frames, teachers become better prepared to choose to respond in the moment creatively. The three frames provide teachers and researchers with a conceptual language to articulate and sharpen their AfL practices as part of a flexible and rigorous responsiveness to their students’ learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-478
JournalThe Curriculum Journal
Issue number4
Early online date2 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2018


  • Assessment for learning; formative assessment; noticing; framing; connoisseurship; responsive; curriculum; collaborative


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