You are here

The Power of Assessment for Learning

The Power of Assessment for Learning
Twenty Years of Research and Practice in UK and US Classrooms

Foreword by Dylan Wiliam

December 2019 | 144 pages | Corwin

The future of Assessment for Learning 20 years after Inside the Black Box

Twenty years after the publication of Inside the Black Box, the landmark review of formative classroom assessment, international education experts Christine Harrison and Margaret Heritage tackle assessment for learning (AfL) anew, with fresh insights gained from two decades of research, theory, and classroom practice. 

The Power of Assessment for Learning: Twenty Years of Research and Practice in UK & US Classrooms examines the practices and processes of formative assessment over time in both countries, evaluates the benefits accrued to teaching and learning, and considers future developments in growing and sustaining AfL practice. It features:

  • Key AfL ideas, approaches, and supports 
  • Vignettes of classroom practice that illustrate AfL in action in the U.K. and U.S. 
  • Practice-based evidence to enrich understanding of AfL from both the teacher’s and the student’s perspective

Focused on student-centeredness and rich with classroom examples, this book is a ‘sounding board’ for educators to explore and reflect on their own AfL practices and beliefs.

Foreword by Dylan Wiliam
About the Authors
Chapter 1 Inside the Black Box Revisited
A New Way of Thinking About Assessment

A Systematic Review

What Is the Black Box?

Getting Into the Details

Is There Evidence That Improving Formative Assessment (AfL) Improves Standards?

Is There Evidence That There Is Room for Improvement?

Is There Evidence About How to Improve Formative Assessment (AfL)?

Changing Practice

Guiding Principles

Improvement as a Journey

Chapter 2 A Tale of Two Countries
The Tale of the United Kingdom

Major Policy Moves in the UK

A Tale From the US

Two Countries, Two Journeys?

Chapter 3 Student Role in Assessment for Learning
Expanding Conceptions of AfL

Sociocultural Perspective and AfL

Self-Regulated Learning

Growth Mindsets

Chapter 4 Planning for Learning
Distinct Teaching Approaches

Influences on Changing Practice

Concluding Thoughts

Chapter 5 Transforming Classrooms
Transforming Practice

Developing AfL Practices

Classroom Routines

Chapter 6 What Still Needs to Be Explored
From Evidence-Based Practice to Practice-Based Evidence

Teachers Need to Be Vigilant for Evidence

Interactions Work in a Nuanced and Detailed Way

Context Matters

Learning Identity

Identity-Safe Environments

Funds of Knowledge

Disciplinary Knowledge


Excellent and gives lots of examples that teachers can use in practice.

Mr Tyrone Perry-Harry
School of Education, Oxford Brookes University
January 13, 2022

Hilda Margaret Heritage

Margaret Heritage is an independent consultant in education. For her entire career, her work has spanned both research and practice. In addition to spending many years in her native England as a practitioner, a university teacher, and an inspector of schools, she had an extensive period at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), first as principal of the laboratory school of the Graduate School of Education and Information Students and then as an Assistant Director at UCLA’s National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing. She has also taught courses in the Departments of Education at UCLA and Stanford... More About Author

Christine Ann Harrison

Christine Harrison is a Professor in Science Education at King’s College London, where she works as a researcher and teacher educator. Chris’s career began in schools and developed through curriculum development projects and examining in the U.K. before she began working on her own research. Working at a prestigious university, and also spending considerable time in classrooms on research and supporting pre-service teachers, Chris began to realize that there was a gap between research ideas and practice. To that end, she has worked with many teachers, researchers and organizations helping all learn from practice-based evidence so they... More About Author

For instructors

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781544361468

SAGE Knowledge is the ultimate social sciences digital library for students, researchers, and faculty. Hosting more than 4,400 titles, it includes an expansive range of SAGE eBook and eReference content, including scholarly monographs, reference works, handbooks, series, professional development titles, and more.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.