AbstraktIn this contribution we outline how the York Science project is using a ‘backward design’ approach to teaching science to students aged 11–14. We then present some examples of formative assessment tasks and show how simple selected-response questions can be modified to provide teachers with detailed information about students’ ideas. Finally we indicate how such tasks can help promote active learning.
Black, P. (1990). APU Science: The past and the future. School Science Review,
Black, P. & Wiliam, D. (1998). Assessment and classroom learning. Assessment in
Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 5(1), 7–74.
Black, P. & Wiliam, D. (1998).Inside the black box: Assessment for learning in the
classroom. London: Kings College London.
Children’s Learning in Science Project (1980–1989). Resource archive. York: National
STEM Centre. Available at
Hattie, J. (2008). Visible Learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to
achievement. London: Routledge.
Hestenes, D., Wells, M. & Swackhamer, G. (1992). Force concept inventory. The Physics
Teacher, 30, 141–157.
Millar, R., Leach, J., Osborne, J. & Ratcliffe, M. (2006). Improving subject teaching.
Lessons from research in science education (Chapters 3 and 6). London: Routledge.
Millar, R. & Whitehouse, M. (2012). The York Science Project — embedding assessment
for learning. Education in Science (EiSXtra), 1–3. Available at
Smith, E. & Gorard, S. (2005). ‘They don’t give us our marks’: The role of formative
feedback in student progress.Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice,
The York Science project website:
Wiggins, G.P. & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Wilson, M. (2009). Measuring progressions: Assessment structures underlying a learning
progression. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(6), 716–730.