Getting to Agency: What We’re Learning About Learning
When students learn to use evidence on a daily basis to assess the status of their learning, agency begins to drive learning forward. When students learn from one another as they construct knowledge and skills through discourse and peer feedback, this individual agency becomes the force of collective agency. Through formative assessment, students learn skills such as recognizing and using evidence to support their own learning and that of their peers, creating increased competence, capacity and collaboration. In this way, formative assessment is an engine for student agency. In this session, we'll explore, through images, words, and student voices, what students do differently as they engage with formative assessment, and how they shift their learner identities and move towards autonomy and agency. We’ll explore the teacher perspective as well, highlighting ways in which formative assessment is both challenging and rewarding for teachers as they re-envision how students learn.
Download Session Materials
- Getting to Agency Participant Agenda ESEA Feb 8 2021.pdf
- ESEA Getting to Agency WestEd February 2021.pdf
Nancy Gerzon provides national leadership in formative assessment implementation. Over the past several years, Nancy’s work has focused on implementing formative assessment at scale. She and her team have developed models of technical assistance, digital professional learning and innovative site-based learning for all levels of the education system – students, teachers, school and district leaders, and state department teams – to guide widespread implementation. Nancy specializes in advancing teacher and leader learning models that lead to significant changes in the student role, including strategies to engage students in developing their metacognitive and self-regulation skills through daily use of key formative assessment practices. Nancy, as a content lead on WestEd's Formative Insights Team, has been at the forefront of developing regional and state networks of stakeholders who are working to re-imagine the student role in assessment and learning.
As the Director of Assessment for Learning, Bryan Hemberg leads WestEd’s efforts to develop the capacity within states, districts, and schools to use evidence to increase student agency and improve educators’ assessment practices. Hemberg also serves as the Deputy Director of the Region 15 Comprehensive Center (R15 CC), 1 of 19 Regional Comprehensive Centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The R15 CC provides technical assistance to extend the capacity of the state education agencies in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah. In addition, Hemberg leads WestEd’s Center for Standards, Assessment, and Accountability, which supports educators in the development and use of rigorous standards and student-focused assessment and accountability practices. Prior to joining WestEd, Hemberg served in management roles at the American Institutes for Research, including leading large-scale alternate assessment development and teacher professional learning programs and supported innovative research within the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, & Student Testing (CRESST) at UCLA.
Barbara Jones is a Professional Learning Specialist for WestEd. She brings expertise in areas related to formative assessment, culturally and linguistically responsive instruction, Indigenous education, and professional development. Jones’ work centers around providing technical assistance and supports to states and districts in using formative assessment to improve teacher effectiveness and increase equity. Previously, as an education researcher at CRESST, UCLA, Jones co-developed the Nevada High-Leverage Instructional Standards, the cornerstone of Nevada’s teacher effectiveness system. Her work provides educators at all levels with a model of teaching and learning that helps build capacity. She also reinforces the importance of all students being treated as equal partners in the learning process by encouraging student ownership of learning. Recently, Jones developed a set of digital professional learning programs for teachers in formative assessment and culturally responsive instruction for Indigenous students. She also brought in key equity frames for the Student Agency in Learning course (SAIL), a teacher training program in formative assessment. She currently is leading the formative assessment work in Arizona through the Region 15 Comprehensive Center and co-developing equity literacy and culturally responsive teacher training modules with the Utah State Board of Education. Jones is a former first grade teacher. She received her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and her master’s degree from UCLA.