Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Teacher Education

Major Professor

Mehmet Aydeniz

Committee Members

Stergios Botzakis, Jo Ann Cady


The major aim of teaching science at the K-12 level is to develop scientific and critical thinking by promoting inquiry skills and fostering a scientific attitude among students. These skills may enable students to solve science-related issues in their daily lives (AAAS, 1990; NRC, 2012). To achieve these objectives, science teachers’ professional development in pedagogy and subject matter is indispensable. Particularly, science teachers need to go through professional development programs in the domain of formative assessment so that they will be able to help students to enhance their understanding by assessing their learning through instruction, helping them track their learning through feedback, and providing them with scaffolding to bridge the gap between their learning and curriculum standards. This study presents a qualitative meta-analysis of sixteen research studies regarding formative assessment in different contexts.

Findings of this study reveal that formative assessment has a positive impact on students’ academic performance as well as science teachers’ professional development. Despite this fact, formative assessment in science is not popular in the circle of researchers and teachers (Sabel, Forbes, & Flynn, 2016). As far as issues are concerned, owing to gaps in science teachers’ pre-service training and discrepancies between school-based assessment practices and external exams, the desired outcomes from formative assessment cannot be achieved (Klieger & Bar- Yossef, 2010). To get the desired results from formative assessment, science teachers need to have mastery in their Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) and subject matter. Additionally, formative assessment should be based on close monitoring, feedback, and questioning.

This study suggests that to develop teachers’ capacity in formative assessment, sessions on formative assessment need to be conducted regularly. To ensure the implementation of formative assessment, the informative sessions should be followed by a series of classroom observations and debriefing sessions with science teachers. Besides statewide policy, schools should also formulate an assessment policy. For further investigation of formative assessment, this study suggests the need to conduct a quasi-experimental study investigating the impact of formative assessment. Furthermore, there is also room for conducting a quantitative survey to explore the perceptions and beliefs of teachers regarding formative assessment.

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