ERIC Number: ED356481
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
Certain Uncertainties: New Literacy and the Evaluation of Student Writing. NCTE Concept Papers Series. Concept Paper No. 5.
Peters, Joanne K. A.
This paper explores how teachers who choose the New Literacy approach to the teaching of reading and writing reconcile the conflict between their need for personal pedagogical integrity and public demands for accountability. The paper's first section describes one teacher's changing conceptions of evaluation of student writing. The second section explores the long-standing belief that it is possible to assess written work according to some absolute, reliable, and valid standard, and argues that this belief is a myth. The next section argues that evaluation of student work is a function of a teacher's perception of his or her professional role and purpose, which is in turn linked to beliefs in how meaning is made from and with text. The problem for the teacher is the choice between a supportive role with textual meaning as open to negotiation versus an authoritative role with textual meaning largely fixed. The fourth section of the paper explores ways in which evaluation can support New Literacy models of the reading and writing process while appeasing public demands for quantified measures of student writing ability. The final section reflects on the politics of assessment and the challenges teachers face from a public demanding accountability in the form of reductive grades. (Contains 52 references.) (SR)
Descriptors: Alternative Assessment, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Politics of Education, Student Evaluation, Teacher Attitudes, Writing Evaluation
National Council of Teachers of English, 1111 W. Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801 (Stock No. 05262).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Council of Teachers of English, Urbana, IL.