Dylan Wiliam workshop on Formative Assessment

On August 28th this year, teachers from PORG International School had the fantastic opportunity of attending a workshop held in Prague by Dr. Dylan Wiliam, one of the world's foremost pedagogic scientists.

The workshop was extremely interactive, focusing on practical demonstrations of the effectiveness of formative assessment techniques. Dr. Wiliam presented summaries of the research which led to the development of the techniques, detailed in his work with Paul Black 'Inside the Black Box: Raising Standards Through Classroom Assessment'

The results of the research presented at the workshop demonstrated that many widespread teaching techniques do not directly help pupils to learn but rather just collect statistics. With the use of formative assessment, teachers can not only check whether children understand or not but close the gap between those who understand and those who do not. The techniques are based on the study of how memory is divided between short term and long term, how memories are formed and retrieved and how to exploit the natural functions of the brain to help develop a strong memory of lessons given in class.

Although the workshop was mentally very tiring, with a lot to be learned very quickly, Dr. Wiliam's use of formative assessment throughout the day proved to be an extremely effective demonstration of its value.  Now that the new school year has started, the benefits of this workshop will soon be felt in our classrooms!