Definition of Formative Assessment

The starting point: a shared definition of formative assessment (FA)

The FA is connected with a concept of learning according to which all students are able to acquire, at a adeguate level, the basic skills of a discipline. The learning passes through the use of teaching methodologies which can respond effectively to different learning time for each student, their different learning styles, their zones of proximal development.

The FA is an assessment FOR teaching and learning.    

It :

  • Is part of the teaching-learning process and regulates it;
  • Identify, in an analytical way, the strengths and weaknesses of student’s learning, in order to allow teachers to reflect on and may modify their own practices;
  • Allows in a form of formative feedback to establish a dialogue between teacher and student and to design educational interventions aimed to the recovery;
  • Promote and foster the learning of all students through differentiated teaching that ensures each student different rhythms and different teaching and learning strategies;
  • Involves the student in the analysis of own errors / weaknesses and own ability to promote self- and peer-assessment and active participation in the teaching-learning process .

It is intended to give information, feed back and feed forward – in and outside of the classroom – related to the development of mathematical life-skills.

In particular:

  • the different components of mathematical learning of the students (conceptual, procedural, semiotic, communicative, problem posing and solving aspects, misconceptions, organization of mathematical experience….);
  • students’ beliefs, students’ image of maths and of specific segments of maths;
  • students’ behaviour and classroom interaction when involved in different mathematical tasks;
  • the outputs of teacher’s choices (transposition of mathematical contents, interface between contents and methods,..).