Reframing Writing Assessment to Improve Teaching and Learning

By Linda Adler-Kassner; Peggy O’Neill | Go to book overview

7
REIMAGINING WRITING
ASSESSMENT

Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used
to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to
empower
.

Chimamanda Adichie
“The Danger of a Single Story” (2009)

Throughout this book, we’ve discussed the ways that frames and framing shape individual and group perceptions of what is “commonsensical” and what is outside of the boundaries of “common sense.” From communication studies and linguistics (Carey 1989; Hall 1983; Hanks 1995; Ryan 1991), to literature and literary criticism (Adichie 2009; Faulkner [in Wise 1980]; Ondajte 1996; Williams 1973), to historiography (Wise 1980; White 1978), a variety of authors and texts allude to the same point: in a circular and self-referential way, frames reflect and perpetuate stories, and the process of framing influences how we tell and interpret those tales. These stories, in turn, shape experiences, perceptions of the world, and values and beliefs, reinforcing the frames that gave shape to the stories in the beginning. Dominant frames and stories become “common sense” and naturalized so that we often aren’t able to see them for what they are; in the process, they also come to represent the dominant values and ideologies associated with and perpetuated by the frame.

In the early years of the twenty-first century, we see this process at work in stories about education and teachers. The idea that college and career readiness is the primary purpose of school, for instance, is becoming the dominant frame through

-179-

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Reframing Writing Assessment to Improve Teaching and Learning
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • 1 - Higher Education, Framing, and Writing Assessment 1
  • 2 - Framing (and) American Education 13
  • 3 - The Framing of Composition and Writing Assessment 40
  • 4 - Reframing Strategies and Techniques 81
  • 5 - Reframing in Action 110
  • 6 - Reframing Assessment 145
  • 7 - Reimagining Writing Assessment 179
  • References 192
  • Index 205
  • About the Authors 208
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