Teachers’ Understanding and Use of Formative Assessment in Literacy Learning

  • Helen Dixon
  • Ruth Williams


Since 1999, successful literacy learning for all children has been a focal point of government policy as outlined in the Report of the Literacy Taskforce. Specified in the report is the need to raise standards of achievement for all students and to close the gap between high and low achievers. To achieve these goals, teachers must be able to understand the nature and function of formative assessment in the teaching/learning process, and also to utilise information formatively. Recent research shows that while teachers accept the basic premise that assessment has a positive role to play in the promotion of student learning, they are not able to articulate clearly how they utilise assessment information to enhance learning (Dixon, 1999; Hill, 2000).

This article reports on teachers’ understandings about, and use of, formative assessment with years one to eight children in the areas of reading, written language and oral language. It concludes that while teachers appear to have increased their theoretical understanding of formative assessment, their descriptions of practice omit a number of critical components which are essential to successful learning for children


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Author Biographies

Helen Dixon
Ruth Williams
How to Cite
DIXON, Helen; WILLIAMS, Ruth. Teachers’ Understanding and Use of Formative Assessment in Literacy Learning. The New Zealand Annual Review of Education, [S.l.], n. 12, july 2002. ISSN 1178-3311. Available at: <https://ojs.victoria.ac.nz/nzaroe/article/view/1433>. Date accessed: 28 oct. 2020. doi: https://doi.org/10.26686/nzaroe.v0i12.1433.


Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability