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ERIC Number: EJ854728
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1075-2935
The Gatekeeping Impulse and Professor X: An Exploration
Sonnenmoser, Richard
Assessing Writing, v14 n2 p76-87 2009
College and university instructors who assess student writing, including but not limited to teachers of first-year composition, sometimes keep the gate. Gatekeeping by writing instructors is an activity directly related to grading practices and, in many cases, to grading practices which emphasize formal, mechanical, usually sentence-level choices made by student writers. A gatekeeper, as defined here, privileges academic standards--usually emphasizing "correctness"--in student assessment rather than other measures of student advancement or learning. What are the proper boundaries of the gatekeeping impulse? How can writing instructors balance a need to serve their institutions, or to serve "standards," and their coexistent responsibility to serve students, to enable writing instruction that benefits student writers of varying skill levels? Professor X's "In the Basement of the Ivory Tower" serves as an example of the gatekeeping impulse unchecked. This article, through a synthesis of the author's experiences as a "gatekeeper" in the Office of Admissions at a large, Midwestern University and his experiences as a college writing instructor, reacts against Professor X's methods and argues that the gatekeeping impulse should not be viewed not as the key principle in writing assessment but rather as a "contrary force" to be balanced with assessment practices and pedagogical approaches that enable writing instruction.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A