Formative Insights: Assessment for Learning is designed to help schools shift away from heavy reliance on teacher-directed instruction to develop more collaborative classroom cultures that encourage and equip students to monitor and direct their own learning.
WestEd leads transformative professional learning in formative assessment with thousands of educators across the nation, both in person and online. Learn to use formative assessment to improve instruction, while also developing new practices and cultural norms that help students gain the skill and will to monitor and advance their own learning toward better outcomes.
Flexible Partner Support
To prepare educators to cultivate this more proactive role for students, WestEd partners with schools and districts to expand systemwide capacity to integrate formative assessment.
To build systemwide capacity around formative assessment, WestEd provides flexible services in a variety of formats including:
- In-person institutes
- On-site coaching for teachers and leaders
- Digital learning modules and courses
- Blended learning experiences
- State-level technical assistance
A Different Approach
Some professional learning programs approach formative assessment as a set of technical skills that teachers apply within existing lesson frameworks. Rather than presenting formative assessment as an add-on – a new way of doing old work – WestEd encourages and supports educators to use it as an opportunity to rethink and reframe how they plan and carry out instruction. This approach supports the paradigm shift toward shared responsibility for learning.
Our professional learning offerings recognize that formative assessment is essential for effective teaching and effective learning. Students must become as skilled as their teachers in monitoring their own learning, giving and eliciting feedback, and knowing how to adjust their learning tactics. Therefore, WestEd has a dual focus:
- Help teachers hone their own formative assessment practices, and
- Prepare teachers to help students develop the ability to track and advance their own learning.
Integral to this latter focus on student agency is our emphasis on developing a school and classroom culture that, in contrast to the old paradigm of “teacher delivers instruction,” sees students and teachers sharing responsibility for individual and group learning.
For their part, participating education leaders also learn what’s needed in the way of policies and systems of teacher support to scale and sustain the use of formative assessment across schools and districts.
To learn more, contact Nancy Gerzon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603.491.7684