Teaching Secondary English: Readings and Applications

By Daniel Sheridan | Go to book overview
our own and our students' writing, and realizing that liking need not get in the way of clear-eyed evaluation.

Works Cited

Diederich, Paul. Measuring Growth in English. Urbana: NCTE, 1974.

Belanoff, Pat, and Peter Elbow. “Using Portfolios to Increase Collaboration and Community in a Writing Program.” WPA: Journal of Writing Program Administration 9.3 (Spring 1986): 27–40. (Also in Portfolios: Process and Product. Ed. Pat Belanoff and Marcia Dickson. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook-Heinemann, 1991.)

Belanoff, Pat, Peter Elbow, and Sheryl Fontaine, eds. Nothing Begins with N: New Investigations of Freewriting. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1991.

Bishop, Wendy. Something Old, Something New: College Writing Teachers and Classroom Change. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1990.

. Released into Language: Options for Teaching Creative Writing. Urbana: NCTE, 1990.

Elbow, Peter. “The Danger of Softness.” What Is English? New York: MLA, 1990. 197–210.

Elbow, Peter, and Pat Belanoff. “State University of New York: Portfolio-Based Evaluation Program.” New Methods in College Writing Programs: Theory into Practice. Ed. Paul Connolly and Teresa Vilardi. New York: MLA, 1986. 95–105. (Also in Portfolios: Process and Product. Ed. Pat Belanoff and Marcia Dickson. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook-Heinemann, 1991.)

Gardner, Howard. Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. New York: Basic, 1983.

Kirschenbaum, Howard, Simon Sidney, and Rodney Napier. Wad-Ja-Get? The Grading Game in American Education. New York: Hart Publishing, 1971.

Lewis, C. S. Studies in Words. 2d ed. London: Cambridge UP, 1967.

Portfolio Assessment Newsletter. Five Centerpointe Drive, Suite 100, Lake Oswego, Oregon 97035.

Portfolio News. c/o San Dieguito Union High School District, 710 Encinitas Boulevard, Encinitas, CA 92024.

Smith, Barbara Herrnstein. Contingencies of Value: Alternative Perspectives for Critical Theory. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1988.

White, Edward M. Teaching and Assessing Writing. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1985.

Zak, Frances. “Exclusively Positive Responses to Student Writing.” Journal of Basic Writing 9.2 (1990): 40–53.


For Further Thought

1. How does Elbow define ranking? (It's broader than the usual meaning of the term.) Do you agree with his negative view of this form of assessment? Comment on Elbow's idea that our society has a “hunger to rank.”

2. In your own experience, how did it feel to have your writing ranked? (If you aspire to teach English, it is possible that your work was always ranked high. How might it have felt to a less capable writer?) What form of assessment seemed to help you most? Why?

3. Comment on Elbow's willingness to compromise with minimal forms of ranking or an analytic grid. What kind of compromises could you see yourself making? At this stage in your career, what kind of grading system do you think you would use for student writing?

4. Elbow is famous for stating things that many teachers believe but don't want to admit. Take his idea of “liking.” Discuss his premise: “It's not improvement that leads to liking, but rather liking that leads to improvement.” How convincing is his case for using this idea in the classroom?

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