Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Citation: Macintyre Latta, M.; Buck, G. & Beckenhauer, A. (2007). Formative assessment requires artistic vision. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 8(4) . Retrieved from


This two-year study focused on the lived terms of inquiry in middle-school science classrooms. The conditions that enable teachers to see and act on science learning as ongoing inquiry were deliberately sought in Year 2. Nine science teachers participated in search of capacities connecting curriculum, teaching, and assessment for greater student and teacher inquiry. An online logbook chronicled this search, serving as a dialogic medium revealing a movement of teachers seeking out and seizing back possibilities for teaching and learning in relation to the given realities of classrooms. The nature and role of formative assessments in support of learning were encountered as the obstacle to be worked out in teachers’ practical action. The necessary interpretive eye and capacity to act in accordance with the dynamic character of formative assessments became the task at hand for teachers and researchers. This task demanded artistic teaching visions, attending to the creation of student meaning on an individual and collective basis. The difficulty, alongside the necessity, of educating artistic teaching visions offered glimpses into how formative assessment use holds potential to restore the participatory dynamic integral to learning. The philosophical/theoretical ground of arts based educational research was found to offer much potential to science inquiry, linking process-product- learner in support of formative assessment use and offering implications for a participatory mode of professional development.