Key Researchers

dr dylan wiliam.JPGDr. Dylan Wiliam

Dylan Wiliam, PhD, 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 the Institute of Education, University of 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.

He has served as Dean and Head of the School of Education (and later Assistant Principal) at King’s College London, Senior Research Director at the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey, and Deputy Director (Provost) of the Institute of Education, University of London. Since 2010, he has devoted most of his time to research and teaching.

Wiliam’s recent work focuses on the profound impact strategic formative assessment has on student learning. He is co-author of Inside the Black Box, a major review of the research evidence on formative assessment, as well as Embedded Formative Assessment, and the Embedding Formative Assessment Professional Development Pack(now available in the United States and Canada). Dr. Wiliam’s Leadership for Teacher Learning is forthcoming from Learning Sciences Publishing in summer 2015.


Dr. Margaret Heritage.jpgDr. Margaret Heritage


Margaret Heritage is Assistant Director for Professional Development at the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing (CRESST) at UCLA. Her current work at CRESST focuses on data use for school improvement, including formative assessment, and on teacher evaluation.
Prior to joining CRESST she had many years’ experience in schools in the U.K and the U.S., including a period as a County Inspector of Education in the U.K., and as Principal of the University Elementary School, the laboratory school of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. Heritage was also member of the faculty in the Department of Education at the University of Warwick, England, and in the U.S. has taught courses in the Departments of Education at UCLA and at Stanford University.
Her most recent publications include a co-authored paper, published in Education Measurement: Issues and Practice, on teachers use of formative assessment evidence (2009), a contribution on student self-assessment to a special issue of the National Middle School Association Journal (2009), a paper co-authored with W.J. Popham on professional development for formative assessment use, published by the Educational Testing Service (2008), and a co-authored a book with Alison Bailey, Formative Assessment for Literacy and Academic Language, published in 2008. Her latest book, Formative Assessment: Making It Happen in the Classroom (2010), is published by Corwin Press.


Dr. James Popham.jpg

Dr. James Popham,-What,-and-Whether.aspx

Dr. James Popham, author of 25 books, including "Transformative Assessment" and "Transformative Assessment in Action", as well as numerous articles and research reports, firmly believes that effective formative assessment leads to greatly increased student learning.

Dr. Popham has extensive experience in implementing formative assessment in schools and districts across the United States. He has a process that takes the theory of formative assessment to implementation in the classroom. As he said in "Transformative Assessment in Action", because formative assessment is primarily about decisions, what is most important is what is going on in the teacher's head.

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Douglas Fisher

Douglas Fisher is professor of language and literacy education in the department of teacher education at San Diego State University and a classroom teacher at Health Sciences High & Middle College. He is the recipient of an International Reading Association Celebrate Literacy Award, the Farmer award for excellence in writing from the National Council of Teachers of English, as well as a Christa McAuliffe award for excellence in teacher education. He has published numerous articles on reading and literacy, differentiated instruction, and curriculum design, and he has coauthored several books, such as Creating Literacy-Rich Schools for Adolescents (with Gay Ivey), Checking for Understanding: Formative Assessments for Your Classroom (with Nancy Frey), Better Learning Through Structured Teaching (with Nancy Frey) and Content-Area Conversations: How to Plan Discussion-Based Lessons for Diverse Learners (with Carol Rothenberg).

 ​Additional Researchers

Shirley Clarke.jpg 

Shirley Clarke


 Carol Dweck.jpg

 Carol Dweck

 Guy Claxton.jpg

 Guy Claxton