Book Review

Advancing Formative Assessment in Every Classroom

A Guide for Instructional Leaders

by Connie M. Moss and Susan M. Brookhart, ASCD, Alexandria, Va., 2009, 165 pp. with index, $27.95 softcover

Educators know the importance of formative assessment — it’s the information we use to improve instruction for students. However, the questions posed, the strategies presented and the direction given in Advancing Formative Assessment in Every Classroom by Connie M. Moss and Susan M. Brookhart provides a model to be used with classroom teachers to engage students in their learning.

Advancing Formative Assessment

Moss, an associate professor in the School of Education at Duquesne University, and Brookhart, an independent education consultant, combine practical experience with a strong research base.

Involving students in the identification of learning goals leads to intrinsically motivated students. The authors provide strategies for involving students and give specifics on providing quality feedback, on questioning strategies, on classroom discussions and on creating a culture of intentional learning.

The book’s format makes it extremely handy for the building administrator. Each chapter contains an overview of the concept being presented, connects the strategy with student achievement and identifies common misconceptions teachers may have about the strategy. The meat is the detailed strategies that can be shared with teachers, ways they can be modeled in professional practice and ways to recognize the strategy when it is being used effectively.

As a superintendent, I constantly am searching for ways to help our building administrators improve their instructional leadership. Whenever I read a professional book, I star the sections that present important information I want to share. As I review my copy, each chapter contains many starred sections, and I find the book can assist instructional leaders to guide teachers in improving learning in classrooms.

Reviewed by Linda Gray Smith, superintendent, Chillicothe, Mo.