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Book of the week: Academic exercise adds muscle

Assessment for Learning: putting it into practice By Paul Black, Christine Harrison, Claire Lee, Bethan Marshall and Dylan Wiliam Open University Press pound;15.99

This is a surprising and welcome book. It is not, despite its title, a "how to" manual on assessment for learning. It is more the story of how teachers and students collaborated in a project designed to put research findings into practice. The book draws heavily on the teachers' accounts, which gives it an authentic feel as it explores ideas about changing teaching and learning practices. The book has a history. In 1998 Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam published a major study of research into assessment and classroom learning. They summarised this in a pamphlet, Inside the Black Box, which has sold more than 40,000 copies worldwide. The findings of a follow-up project were distilled in another bestselling pamphlet, Working Inside the Black Box. This book offers a fuller account of how the teachers took on assessment for learning in their classrooms and some of the consequences for the teachers, students and schools. Read more in this week's TES Friday magazine

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