Document Type



Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Classroom assessment is a critical part of teaching and learning and is a potentially useful tool for enhancing learning outcomes. It provides information on where learners are with their learning goals and what they need to do to improve their understanding and meet the intended learning outcomes. In response to the agent's need for proper interpretation of classroom assessment, researchers and policymakers have developed guidelines, principles, and models to help teachers understand and implement effective assessment conceptions. Despite these initiatives, research continues to show that teachers struggle to interpret assessment policies and implement practices aligned with contemporary formative assessment notions. This paper presents a narrative review of 52 pieces of literature related to pre-primary and primary science and mathematics education assessment between 2008 and 2023. To respond to the proposed research questions using Tanzania as a case study, and focusing on science and mathematics in pre-primary and primary education, we performed this narrative review of the literature on formative assessment and its potential to improve classroom teaching. Findings indicate that principles and models alone are insufficient to create the necessary changes in classroom assessment and thus call for the need for integrated and focused professional learning initiatives that enable teachers to collaboratively explore new assessment practices. Findings indicate further that such professional learning models require ongoing support by knowledgeable practitioners. In addition, effective support strategies require time and effort to develop learning cultures that recognize the value of assessment for learning and translate it into action.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Educational Studies

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.