New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

A Case Study Of The Formative Use of Assessment Information in Secondary Science Subjects in Greece

Maria Vlachou, Institute of Education, University of London (United Kingdom)


Formative assessment (FA) has attracted increasing attention from educators, scholars and policy makers over recent years. A range of research studies has shown the effectiveness of the formative use of assessment information in students’ learning. In the Greek educational system, FA and summative assessment (SA) were not separated in classroom assessment in secondary schools until very recently. New regulations in Greece seem to follow the recommendations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development for balancing external assessments and teacher-based assessments of learning, and integrating student-formative assessments.

The aim of this study is to explore the FA practice science teachers use in secondary schools in Greece on a day-to-day basis. A case study approach utilising lesson observations and semi-structured interviews with science teachers was employed to investigate the assessment practices that the participants used on a daily basis, and to evaluate whether they captured the principles of FA.

The findings revealed that a few classroom assessment practices that the teachers used on a daily basis reflected some of the principles of FA, but participants emphasised more the summative uses of assessment over formative aspects. Hence, less productive feedback techniques were used by teachers to bridge the gap between the students’ current achievement level and the intended learning outcome. Moreover, it revealed that the classroom assessment process is largely teacher-led, while students do not have an active role.

To achieve a balance between SA and FA, policymakers and school leaders need to embed the role of FA in educational regulations and to support teachers to apply FA practices in their own teaching through professional development and learning communities. 

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