ERIC Number: ED427336
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999
Unpacking Literate "Achievement."
This paper explores what it means, and what it might mean, to "achieve" in literacy. The paper points out that, although there is considerable concern over the misrepresentation of literate achievement by standardized tests, there has been substantially less demonstration of what is being left out, that is, exactly what of significance is achieved beyond the standardized test. The paper uses as an example one that primarily involves what might be classified as science; science was chosen to emphasize the broader issues of literate thinking. It draws attention to the epistemological, scientific, and social aspects that students are learning. According to the paper, students in this fourth-grade classroom sustained conversations relating to books, science, spelling, or math for up to an hour and a quarter at a time, sometimes picking them up again over a period of days, and with relatively limited contributions by the teacher. Illustrations of classroom interactions in the paper show several literate achievements: (1) a particular epistemological frame has been established, one which appears to be developmentally ahead of its time; (2) the understandings that might be called "scientific literacy" are also developmentally advanced; and (3) the social side of the literate practices of these children is distinctive and has significance for their participation in democratic living. Contains 50 references. (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Research Center on English Learning and Achievement, Albany, NY.