Assessment for Learning and Cognitive acceleration

Dylan Wiliam and Paul Black (2009) discuss the need for a good theory or theoretical framework to support formative assessment which has mutated to Assessment for Learning. They remark that the pedagogical principles behind cognitive acceleration programmes such as C.A.S.E and C.A.M.E . (these are now the  Let’s Think interventions) are a good candidate for this.

“The emphasis paid to creating cognitive conflict rather than giving answers, to the importance of dialogue to serve the social construction of knowledge, and to metacognition involving learners’ reflection on their own learning, makes it clear that formative assessment practices are an essential feature of these programmes. Indeed, the training process that forms part of the programmes is essential because their adoption requires teachers to engage in such practices, practices which many will find unfamiliar and challenging. Thus, whilst the programme of instruction is distinctive, formative assessment principles lie at the core of  its implementation. In SRL terms, the purpose is to change one vital element of the conditions, i.e. the reasoning resources that a learner might bring to any future task.”


Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (2009). Developing the theory of formative assessment. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 21(1), 5-31.

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