NIACE Annual Disability Conference London: 29 September 2008 3rd Tomlinson Memorial Lecture: Assessment for learning: why it matters for all students Dylan Wiliam Institute of Education, University of London www.dylanwiliam.net Raising achievement matters… For individuals Improved control over one’s life Increased lifetime salary Improved health Longer life For society Improved ‘pro-social’ behaviour (e.g., participation in democracy) Lower criminal justice costs Lower health-care costs Increased economic growth Which of the following categories of skill is disappearing from the workplace most rapidly? 1. Routine manual 2. Non-routine manual 3. Routine cognitive 4. Complex communication 5. Expert thinking/problem-solving …but what is learned matters too… Autor, Levy & Murnane, 2003 …more now than ever $35.00 $30.00 $25.00 Dropout $20.00 HS Diploma Some College BA/BSc $15.00 Prof Degree $10.00 $5.00 05 20 03 20 01 20 99 19 97 19 95 19 93 19 91 19 89 19 87 19 85 19 83 19 81 19 79 19 77 19 75 19 19 73 $0.00 There is only one 21st century skill So the model that says learn while you’re at school, while you’re young, the skills that you will apply during your lifetime is no longer tenable. The skills that you can learn when you’re at school will not be applicable. They will be obsolete by the time you get into the workplace and need them, except for one skill. The one really competitive skill is the skill of being able to learn. It is the skill of being able not to give the right answer to questions about what you were taught in school, but to make the right response to situations that are outside the scope of what you were taught in school. We need to produce people who know how to act when they’re faced with situations for which they were not specifically prepared. (Papert, 1998) Preparation for future learning (PFL) Cannot be taught in isolation from other learning Students still need the basic skills of literacy, numeracy, concepts and facts Learning power is developed primarily through pedagogy, not curriculum We have to change the way teachers teach, not what they teach Teachers make a difference QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. Students taught by the best teacher in a group of 50 learn in 6 months what students taught by the average teacher take a year to learn For students taught by the least effective teacher in a group of 50, the same learning will take two years …but more for some than others Impact of teacher quality on student outcomes (Hamre & Pianta, 2005)) Achievement gaps Disadvantaged background (mother’s education) Poor behavior Teacher’s provision of instructional support High No (good) Average No (good) Low Yes (bad) High Teacher’s provision of emotional support High Yes (bad) Average Yes (bad) Low Yes (bad) High Yes (bad) Average Yes (bad) Low Yes (bad) No (good) Average Yes (bad) Low Yes (bad) The ‘dark matter’ of teacher quality Teachers make a difference But what makes the difference in teachers? Advanced content matter knowledge Pedagogical content knowledge Further professional qualifications (MA, NBPTS) Total “explained” difference <5% 10-15% <5% 20-25% Learning power environments Key concept: Teachers do not create learning Learners create learning Teaching is the engineering of effective learning environments Key features of learning power environments: Create student engagement (pedagogies of engagement) Well-regulated (pedagogies of contingency) Why pedagogies of engagement? Intelligence is partly inherited So what? Intelligence is partly environmental Environment creates intelligence Intelligence creates environment Learning environments High cognitive demand Inclusive Obligatory Motivation: cause or effect? high arousal Flow anxiety challenge control worry relaxation apathy boredom low low competence high (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990) How do students make sense of this? Attribution (Dweck, 2000) Personalization (internal v external) Permanence (stable v unstable) Essential that students attribute both failures and success to internal, unstable causes. (It’s down to you, and you can do something about it.) Views of ‘ability’ Fixed (IQ) Incremental (untapped potential) Essential that teachers inculcate in their students a view that ‘ability’ is incremental rather than fixed (by working, you’re getting smarter) Prediction is hard, especially about the future… Source: Autumn package (2001), DfES Why pedagogies of contingency? Several major reviews of the research… Natriello (1987) Crooks (1988) Kluger & DeNisi (1996) Black & Wiliam (1998) Nyquist (2003) … all find consistent, substantial effects The AfL hi-jack continues… Long-cycle Span: across units, terms Length: four weeks to one year Medium-cycle Span: within and between teaching units Length: one to four weeks Short-cycle Span: within and between lessons Length: day-by-day: 24 to 48 hours minute-by-minute: 5 seconds to 2 hours Unpacking formative assessment Key processes Establishing where the learners are in their learning Establishing where they are going Working out how to get there Participants Teachers Peers Learners Aspects of formative assessment Where the learner is going Teacher Peer Learner Where the learner is Engineering effective Clarify and share discussions, tasks and activities that elicit learning intentions evidence of learning How to get there Providing feedback that moves learners forward Understand and share learning intentions Activating students as learning resources for one another Understand learning intentions Activating students as owners of their own learning Five “key strategies”… Clarifying, understanding, and sharing learning intentions curriculum philosophy Engineering effective classroom discussions, tasks and activities that elicit evidence of learning classroom discourse, interactive whole-class teaching Providing feedback that moves learners forward feedback Activating students as learning resources for one another collaborative learning, reciprocal teaching, peer-assessment Activating students as owners of their own learning metacognition, motivation, interest, attribution, self-assessment (Wiliam & Thompson, 2007) …and one big idea Use evidence about learning to adapt teaching and learning to meet student needs Practical techniques: eliciting evidence Key idea: questioning should cause thinking provide data that informs teaching Getting away from I-R-E basketball rather than serial table-tennis ‘No hands up’ (except to ask a question) class polls to review current attitudes towards an issue ‘Hot Seat’ questioning All-student response systems ABCD cards, Mini white-boards, Exit passes Practical techniques: feedback Key idea: feedback should cause thinking provide guidance on how to improve Comment-only marking Focused marking Explicit reference to scoring guides and mark schemes Suggestions on how to improve Not giving complete solutions Re-timing assessment (eg three-quarters-of-the-way-through-a-unit test) Practical techniques: sharing learning intentions Explaining learning intentions at start of lesson/unit Learning intentions Success criteria Intentions/criteria in students’ language Posters of key words to talk about learning e.g., describe, explain, evaluate Planning/writing frames Annotated examples of different standards to ‘flesh out’ mark schemes (e.g. lab reports) Opportunities for students to design their own mark-schemes and tests Practical techniques: activating students Students assessing their own/peers’ work with scoring guides with exemplars “two stars and a wish” Training students to pose questions/identifying group weaknesses Self-assessment of understanding Traffic lights Red/green discs End-of-lesson students’ review Putting it into practice Implementing AfL requires changing teacher habits Teachers “know” most of this already So the problem is not a lack of knowledge It’s a lack of understanding what it means to do AfL That’s why telling teachers what to do doesn’t work Experience alone is not enough—if it were, then the most experienced teachers would be the best teachers—we know that’s not true (Hanushek, 2005; Day, 2006) People need to reflect on their experiences in systematic ways that build their accessible knowledge base, learn from mistakes, etc. (Bransford, Brown & Cocking, 1999) Teacher learning takes time To put new knowledge to work, to make it meaningful and accessible when you need it, requires practice. A teacher doesn’t come at this as a blank slate. Not only do teachers have their current habits and ways of teaching— they’ve lived inside the old culture of classrooms all their lives: every teacher started out as a student! New knowledge doesn’t just have to get learned and practiced, it has to go up against long-established, familiar, comfortable ways of doing things that may not be as effective, but fit within everyone’s expectations of how a classroom should work. It takes time and practice to undo old habits and become graceful at new ones. Thus… Professional development must be sustained over time A model for teacher learning Content, then process Content (what we want teachers to change) Evidence Ideas (strategies and techniques) Process (how to go about change) Choice Flexibility Small steps Accountability Support Design and intervention Our design process cognitive/affective insights synergy/ comprehensiveness set of components Teachers’ implementation process set of components synergy/ comprehensiveness cognitive/affective insights Summary Learning power is developed more by how—than by what—we teach Teaching is the engineering of effective learning environments Effective learning environments involve Pedagogies of engagement Pedagogies of contingency Personalisation Mass customization (rather than mass production or individualisation) Diversity A valuable teaching resource (rather than a challenge to be minimized) Assessment is the bridge between teaching and learning, and thus the central process of teaching (as opposed to lecturing).