Enabling and aligning assessment for learning: some research and policy lessons from Queensland
Drawing on the Queensland School Reform Longitudinal Study (QSRLS), this paper documents the assessment practices of about 250 Queensland primary and secondary classrooms and the extent to which they align with those pedagogical practices described as 'productive pedagogies' in the research. In considering the extent of this alignment, the paper outlines in some detail the concept of 'productive assessment', which also developed out of the research. The QSRLS demonstrated the necessity of aligning pedagogies and assessment practices with curriculum purposes to enhance student learning and contribute to socially just outcomes. A lack of visible alignment in the assessment practices of teachers in the study is demonstrated and discussed. When considered in conjunction with the low intellectual demands of the pedagogies observed, there are serious social justice implications to be drawn from the research. The paper also shows the significance of systemic assessment policies in relation to teacher assessment practices. The paper conceptualizes 'productive assessment' in relation to broader sociological considerations of assessment practices. Some possible explanations for the findings are proffered and some brief recommendations about a way forward in relation to teacher professional development around assessment literacy are suggested.
International Studies in Sociology of Education