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Association for Middle Level Education

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Formative assessment, Summative assessment, Middle school education -- United States -- Philosophy, Teachers -- Training of -- United States, Educational tests and measurements -- United States, Academic achievement -- United States -- Evaluation


Assessment is important for middle level teachers and their students. In fact, the National Middle School Association (NMSA) highlighted curriculum, instruction, and assessment in This We Believe: Keys to Educating Young Adolescents (NMSA, 2010). The intention of this summary is to establish assessment’s rightful position as one priority for middle grade teachers and their students. When used wisely and well, teachers obtain information about their students’ strengths and needs, and their students remain informed about their achievements. To begin, educators need an operational definition of assessment. Based on the work of many scholars (e.g., Delclos, Vye, Burns, Bransford, & Hasselbring, 1992; Poehner, 2007), assessment is defined as a process for documenting, in measurable terms, the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and beliefs of the learner. Although this definition of assessment is rather straightforward, the process of assessment in the classroom is complex. At the classroom level, teachers must decide which specific knowledge, skills, attitudes, and beliefs warrant assessment; at what point and for what specific purpose they should be assessed; and which tools might best accomplish these classroom-based assessments. This research summary addresses two forms of assessment, formative and summative.


This is the publisher's final PDF. Reprinted with permission of the Association for Middle Level Education.

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