Inside the Black Box

 Illustration © 1998 by A. J. Garces

‘Inside the Black Box’ : Raising Standards Through Classroom Assessment

Black and Wiliam (1998) make a case for focusing on what happens inside classrooms to raise standards, rather than treating classrooms like black boxes where an input of some external innovation leads to an output of raised achievement.

They present an analysis of hundreds of studies, which shows that formative assessment raises standards, especially for low-achieving students.

Formative assessment or Assessment for Learning (AfL) is therefore an essential component of classroom work and can raise student achievement.

PAUL BLACK is emeritus professor of science education at King’s College London, United Kingdom.

DYLAN WILIAM is deputy director of the Institute of Education, University of London, United Kingdom


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