The Use of Formative Instructional Practices to Improve Student Performance

Date of Award





Doctor of Education


Counseling, Foundations & Leadership


This study explores teacher and school leadership perceptions on the use of Formative Instructional Practices (FIP) in classroom settings located in a large urban school district. Research indicates that using formative assessment can increase student achievement; however, professional learning of such practices is needed (Frey & Fisher, 2013; Harrison, O’Hara & McNamara, 2015; Wiliam, Lee, Harrison & Black, 2004). Research questions developed for this study included one main question and three secondary questions. The main question explored the participant’s perceptions of FIP implementation while the secondary questions focused on the development of student motivation and classroom assessments for students. Additionally, factors impacting teachers’ motivation to change classroom instructional practices were discussed. Study participants conducted and participated in a professional learning series using five on-line modules explaining the use of formative instructional practices. A basic interpretive qualitative research design used focus groups and interviews to reveal seven themes from participant’s perceptions. These themes included the effects on student motivation, differentiation considerations for students, leader and teacher expectations, cultural aspects for instruction, the struggle between current knowledge and desired outcomes, the use of time, and use of data.

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