(Re)Articulating Writing Assessment for Teaching and Learning

By Brian Huot | Go to book overview

1
(RE)ARTICULATING WRITING
ASSESSMENT

Naming this book has been quite an adventure. When the idea for its title and shape first came to mind, I originally thought to call it Reclaiming Assessment for the Teaching of Writing. Of course, as I thought through the title and reexamined the idea, I realized that to reclaim something meant that it had to be claimed in the first place. Unfortunately, writing assessment has never been claimed as a part of the teaching of writing. As far back as 1840, writing assessment was hailed as a better technology (chapter six contains a discussion of writing assessment as technology) for assessing student knowledge (Witte, Trashel, and Walters 1986). The use of essay placement exams at Harvard and other prestigious institutions in the nineteenth century was justified in response to the growing perception that students were underprepared for the rigors of university study. This notion of assessment as something done because of a deficit in student training or teacher responsibility is still with us in the plethora of accountability programs at the state level for public schools and in the recent national assessment programs advocated by the George W. Bush administration and adopted by Congress. Throughout the twentieth century, writing assessment became the tool of administrators and politicians who wished to maintain an efficient and accountable educational bureaucracy (Williamson 1994). The literature about classroom assessment was limited to an irregular series of volumes on grading student writing (see Judine 1965, for an example). At any rate, it would be inaccurate for me to advocate the re-claiming of writing assessment, when in fact it has yet to be claimed for the teaching of writing.

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(Re)Articulating Writing Assessment for Teaching and Learning
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • 1- (Re)Articulating Writing Assessment 1
  • 2- Writing Assessment as a Field of Study 21
  • 3- Assessing, Grading, Testing, and Teaching Writing 59
  • 4- Toward a New Theory of Writing Assessment 81
  • 5- Reading like a Teacher toward a Theory of Response 109
  • 6- Writing Assessment as Technology and Research 137
  • 7- Writing Assessment Practice 165
  • Notes 192
  • References 195
  • Index 213
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