About the LSI Dylan Wiliam Center

Minute by minute, day by day, strategic formative assessment can substantially improve student achievement

When teachers use formative assessment, student achievement gains are among the greatest ever reported. That’s why Learning Sciences Dylan Wiliam Center is committed to providing teachers with powerful, sustained professional development in Strategic Formative Assessment that will help them monitor, modify, and improve their classroom instruction. Teachers who use formative assessment strategies are helping their students learn faster. In fact, studies have shown that when used correctly, teachers implementing formative assessment strategies can teach in eight months what students in non-formative assessment classrooms would, on average, take one year to learn.

Dylan Wiliam, PhD, has partnered with Learning Sciences International on an exciting professional development initiative for teachers and school administrators, the primary goals being:

  • To help schools fortify strategic formative assessment with teacher learning communities
  • To research and develop innovative, highly effective programs
  • To support enhanced student achievement with cutting-edge technology

Dr. Wiliam is an internationally recognized leader in the development of effective, research-based formative assessment. His books, articles, school visits, workshops, and conference presentations on strategic formative assessment and teacher learning communities have profoundly impacted teacher professional practice and student learning worldwide.

“There is a four-fold difference in the speed of learning between the most effective and the least effective classrooms. The obvious factors – class size, the between-class grouping strategy, the within-class grouping strategy – make relatively little difference. What matters is the quality of the teacher.”
Dylan Wiliam

About 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 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.

Wiliam is professor emeritus of educational assessment at UCL Institute of Education (IOE), London, UK. After a first degree in mathematics and physics, Wiliam 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, NJ; 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 most recent book Creating the Schools Our Children Need: Why What We’re Doing Now Won’t Help Much (And What We Can Do Instead) breaks down the methods American schools use to improve, and the gaps between what research tells us works and what we actually do. His additional works focus 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 Embedding Formative Assessment: Practical Techniques for K-12 Classroom, the Embedding Formative Assessment Professional Development Pack, and Leadership for Teacher Learning.

About Siobhán Leahy

Siobhán Leahy, MS, was a principal of three secondary schools for 17 years. She gained a wealth of practical experience with strategic formative assessment through the implementation of teacher learning communities. She is co-author and developer, with Dylan Wiliam, of the Embedding Formative Assessment Professional Development Pack. She received her Master of Science from South Bank University, London, and her Bachelor of Science in Management Sciences from the University of Warwick, UK.