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on 21 February 2004
This is an excellent book for teachers and administrators who are unfamiliar with the work of Paul Black, Dylan Wiliam, et. al. The book sums up the extensive review of the literature and research on assessment for learning and the work of the Kings Medway Formative Assessment Project who have been trialing a variety of ways to carry out formative assessment in the classroom. The book is grounded in the realistic. It explains carefully how formative assessment can improve pupils' learning and then provides case studies to show how it can be managed in the classroom context. The only down side to this book is that if you have already read much of Black and Wiliam's papers on this subject then this will provide little that is new, although even then it does summarise the earlier papers into an easily readable format. This book is a must have for anyone who is concerned with raising standards in education.
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on 11 June 2008
I am a Clinical Teacher in a hospital. Reading this book about secondary education transformed my whole approach to teaching and learning. Gone are all those boring PowerPoints, replaced with a couple of smart questions, some protected stress free thinking time, and then off into lively discussions and debates. Pages 32 to 41 on questioning are worth the price of the whole book. I could go on and on, but just buy the book and persevere!
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on 30 December 2008
I am a trainee teacher. I had been labouring my way through all manner of boring stuff about formative assessment until I read this. The book tells you not only how to do it, but why it works. It deals magnificently with the real world and any possible objections. Instead of all that worthy stuff about improving learning, it makes the very valid point that the teaching becomes more enjoyable when you use the methods outlined so clearly in the book. The learning is improved as well, of course.
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on 29 April 2009
Speaking as a PGCE student, this book is very useful. It has lots of information on different types of formative assessment and how it is used (which has become very important in teaching in the last 15 years).

It is written in a very readable format by the people who have done years of research on the subject. It is also invaluable when writing an essay on assessment or a related matter.

If you want to know about assessment for learning you can't go far wrong with this. If you want to know (a lot) about summative assessment, you will have to look elsewhere.

An excellent book on a specific subject.
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on 11 February 2010
Bought this book to help with a Uni assignment. Very well laid out. Covers and expands on the information in the "Black Box" series of books. Good value for money compared to the price of the "Black Box" books.

Could not have written my essay without it - hence the five stars.
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on 5 April 2009
Worth buying it puts William and Black's theory into a genuinely practical context for managers and classroom teachers. Teachers need an easy way to get to grips with the theory of Assessment for Learning - this is it.
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on 2 January 2014
very subject specific which is great for research on my foundation degree but you would need other books to research assessment in general
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on 10 October 2010
I came into this book from its title alone, and especially the "Putting it into Practice" bit. And this is where I fell out with it. Maybe I want too much from titles, but a lengthly exploration on how others put AfL into practice is not what I'm interested in. I don't want to wade through 20 pages of anecdotes and relfection, but to drill straight into the "try this, this or this" - hopefully, with each being new ideas and approaches for me.

Working within an LEA that has adopted the messages of "Black Box" back when it first came out - I can attest that putting AfL at the heart of education makes a difference. We have dramatically improved results and the school culture using these ideas. But the question is "Is this book worth your sehelf space??"

As an NQT or ITT student, borrow a copy. As a PGCE tutor buy a copy to drill your studnets, as a practising teacher -- go and observe someone who is embedding AfL.

Glen Gilchrist
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on 18 February 2013
A really good book full of good information, great for study and if you want to know about assessment thanks
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on 28 June 2015
A good book which certainly helped with my teacher training assignments
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