Currently, according to the results of the latest round of international PISA tests, approximately 120,000 students leave school in England each year without the literacy they need to participate effectively in society, and around the same number lack the maths skills they need to make even the most basic financial decisions.
Moreover, as employers make increasing use of technology, workers need higher and higher levels of education.
There is, predictably, no shortage of solutions being offered to address this challenge, but unfortunately, most of the ideas being pursued in England currently will have little, if any impact, on student achievement.
Dylan Wiliam is one of the world’s foremost education authorities. He has helped to successfully implement classroom formative assessment in thousands of schools all over the world, including the United States, Singapore, Sweden, Australia, and the United Kingdom. A two-part BBC series, “The Classroom Experiment,” tracked Dr. Wiliam’s work at one British middle school, showing how formative assessment strategies empower students, significantly increase engagement, and shift classroom responsibility from teachers to their students so that students become agents of and collaborators in their own learning.
Dylan Wiliam is Emeritus Professor of Educational Assessment at University College London. After a first degree in mathematics and physics, he taught in urban schools for seven years, during which time he earned further degrees in mathematics and mathematics education.
Follow Dylan on Twitter: @DylanWiliam