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ERIC Number: EJ840845
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 68
ISSN: ISSN-0360-9170
Dilemmas and Discourses of Learning to Write: Assessment as a Contested Site
Wohlwend, Karen E.
Language Arts, v86 n5 p341-351 May 2009
Writing assessment is a contested site where competing discourses overlap and invoke conflicting expectations, creating dilemmas for teachers who want to do what they believe is best for children and fulfill their school's writing targets. A critical look at assessment quandaries reveals surface dilemmas as clashes between overlapping discourses, freeing teachers to work with and against institutions that create the dilemmas and their immobilizing effects. To illustrate how competing discourses generate assessment dilemmas, I analyze data examples from emergent writing activity by a group of children at a kindergarten writing table, looking closely at the students' and teacher's actions through the lenses of several prevalent discourses that explain early writing development: maturation discourse, skills mastery discourse, intentionality discourse, multimodal genre discourse, social practices discourse, and sociopolitical discourse (adapted from Ivanic, 2004). (Contains 1 figure.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001