Linzi McLeod

Primary Teacher

Carnbroe Primary

  • Assessment For Learning

What effects does ‘wait time’ have on pupils’ responses to questioning?


The implementation of assessment strategies into classroom practice has been of significant interest in the past several years and as a result, has become a crucial aspect of the development of the curriculum in Scotland. The Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) is underpinned by the principles of Assessment is For Learning (AfL), and recognises that pupil participation is an essential requirement when working towards developing the whole child, in line with the four capacities stated in CfE (Building the Curriculum 3: A Framework for Learning and Teaching, 2008). After discussion with other practitioners, it was decided that the intention of the professional enquiry into practice was to critically analyse the effectiveness of implementing and utilising extended wait time during questioning, as a method of formative assessment. The topic for the research was decided based upon the shared interest in improving pupil participation during lessons, and the desire to motivate and engage learners to help improve educational attainment (Rowe, 1986).


The aim of this project was to evaluate the effect of implementing extended wait time on pupil responses to questioning within a primary classroom setting. Through exploring the perspectives and observing the actions of a select group of children within the classroom, the benefits, and potential drawbacks, of implementing wait time should be evident.

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