Volume 4, Issue 1 (Spring 2010)
Formative Evaluation in School Psychology: Fully Informing the Instructional Process
Matthew K. Burns
Abstract: Assessment has always been a foundation from which school psychology operates, but its primary purpose has changed. Implementation of response to intervention has again caused school psychology to examine its assessment practices and to become more formative in nature. This article defines formative and summative evaluation and presents the essential attribute of the former as the use of data to identify student needs and plan instruction to better meet those needs. Formative evaluation activities are delineated for the phases of instruction, and potential roles for school psychologists are described. Areas in need of future research are also suggested in order for a comprehensive assessment-to-intervention model to be developed and implemented.