Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Laura O. Onafowora


Standardized test data from a southern suburban elementary school showed lagging student scores behind those of students from similar settings. These scores suggested a disconnection between teachers' understanding of and practice in formative assessment. Bloom's revised taxonomy, backward design planning theory, and differentiated learning theory guided this study, which focused on how elementary teachers use formative strategies in the classroom to inform instruction. Data collected through face-to-face interviews from 10 teachers were transcribed and organized in codes and themes. Member checks were then used to ensure credibility of interpretations. The key results showed that these 10 teachers used many formative assessment strategies with their students, yet they were unfamiliar with backward design theory and did not use peer feedback or self-assessment as strategies. The proposed project focused on providing professional development in 3 modules addressing professional learning community norms, backward design theory unit planning, and strategies for peer feedback and student goal setting. This project may lead to positive social change by empowering teachers to design curriculum and assessment with authentic learning experiences and providing students with goal-setting strategies to become responsible for learning. The project's positive social change may lead to this school and district closing the identified achievement gap. It is recommended that further research on teacher perception of formative assessment should include more elementary and middle schools.