1.2 Formative assessment
The main differences between summative assessment and formative assessment is that formative assessment is an ongoing process, looks forward and focuses on the development of musical learning. Its primary purpose is to help the teacher to gain an understanding of the young person and the young person to gain an understanding of themselves as a musical learner. It helps to identify any difficulties or misconceptions that the young person might be experiencing as well as where the young person is achieving particularly well.
An important aspect of this form of assessment is that it will involve the young person in the assessment of their learning – often through focused questioning – and thus support them in coming to an understanding of that learning. For example, verbal feedback for Teresa Green could be:
‘Assessment for learning’ (AfL) by its very nature focuses not only on a young person’s learning but also on a teacher’s teaching. Teachers who use AfL most effectively – and who are often the most successful teachers – are those who reflect upon the information gained from AfL and ask themselves the question, ‘So what does this mean for my teaching?’ They use AfL as a means to evaluate their own teaching and then draw upon this evaluation to inform their planning.