Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Snyder, K. K. (2016). The relationship of formative assessment to the professional development and perspective transformation of teachers (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Education, Major: Educational Studies (Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education), Under the Supervision of Professor Edmund Hamann. Lincoln, Nebraska: August, 2016

Copyright (c) 2016 Kimberly K. Snyder


This study uses practitioner research to explore teacher perspectives about formative assessment. The researcher engaged in a four-month-long series of professional development sessions with one middle school and two high school English-Language Arts teachers from the Capital View School District. Understanding formative assessment as a process to monitor student learning and then customizing instruction based on the data gathered from the formative assessment is a complex skill in which teachers need practice and even coaching to become adroit. The sessions were intended to help early-career teachers better understand formative assessment and incorporate it as a strategy in their teaching praxis. Using notes from interviews and observation of the six professional development sessions, this study provides insight into the thought processes of teachers as they navigate through new information about formative assessment and attempt to fuse their new knowledge with district policies. This study also provides insight into the relationship between professional development and perspective change in teachers, which in turn informs the relationship between the researcher in this study and the districts with which she supports in the area of formative assessment. A detailed review of how teachers work through new information provides valuable information for teachers and administrators to consider when seeking to maximize professional development efficiency and teacher success.

Adviser: Edmund T. Hamann