Formative assessment classroom techniques and their influence on the instructional practices of primary school mathematics teachers

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Professional Development Centre, Karachi


Formative assessment (FA) successfully provides information for teachers to alter their instructional practices. However, experience suggests that teachers in general and mathematics teachers in particular lack the knowledge about FA, its use in classrooms and primarily use summative assessments (SA). The following study is the result of a Collaborative Action Research (CAR) between an M.Ed student from a private university and an in-service primary mathematics teacher at a reputed school in Karachi, Pakistan. The study aimed to explore the influence of Formative Assessment Classroom Techniques (FACTs) on the Instructional Practices (IP) of the teachers. Grade five of that school served as the data collection site. Answers to the following questions were sought a) What are a grade 5 mathematics teacher’s perceptions about assessment?; b) What are the current assessment practices (formative) and instructional practices of a grade 5 mathematics teacher?; c) What are the changes in instructional practices of grade 5 mathematics teachers as a result of using FACTs?; and, d) What are the facilitating and challenging factors while implementing FACTs in the classroom? Data were collected through semi-structured interviews, classroom teaching and observations, and the teachers’ reflections. The first cycle began mainly with FACTs that the teacher was unintentionally using. The second and the third cycles consisted of two FACTs each. However, FACTs in the third cycle focused on mathematical concepts. The findings of the study confirmed that FACTs helped teachers to alter their IPs in a way that enhanced student learning. It was also found that despite participating in relevant training a teacher could lack knowledge about FA in theory. Furthermore, the participant teacher found FA fruitful and tried to legitimize the use of it in her class by calling it a bridge for SA. The findings of the study imply that professional development for teachers should focus on an FA component as well. Moreover, FACTs ought to be introduced in the National Curriculum for Mathematics in general and the schools assessment policy in particular.

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