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René Kneyber and Valentina Devid on the Power of Formative Action





Peps Mccrea

René Kneyber and Valentina Devid are two of the founders of Toetsrevolutie (Test Revolution), a teacher training cooperative based in the Netherlands which specialises in formative assessment, summative assessment and curriculum design.

René and Valentina are also two of the four authors of an excellent new book - Formative Action - the English translation of which was published in April 2024.

René was the first person to introduce formative assessment in the Netherlands. But while he could see the benefits of this idea in his own classroom, when he started talking about it with other people he soon found that the language was getting in the way. It's not really about assessment. It's about the actions teachers take in response to the assessment activities they undertake. So he changed the name to 'formative action', and created a model which overcomes many of the problems experienced previously in the field of formative assessment.

The book is brilliant - concise, super-clear and practicable - and in this conversation we take a deep dive working our way through the five steps of the formative action model in its entirety.

If you visit, you can access a free pdf of one of the chapters from the book, as well as a free online course which is really produced to a high standard and which I highly recommend.

I also highly recommend an online course on self-regulated learning, made by myself, which is available to patrons of the podcast. This course looks at three of the big ideas in SRL - metacognition, self-regulation and oracy - and includes lots of practical strategies for how to put these powerful ideas into action in your classroom and indeed in your own life as a human being.

To access this course, along with many other benefits, please visit



The Rethinking Education podcast is hosted and produced by Dr James Mannion. You can contact him at, or via a social platform of your choosing:


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