By Patricia Lynne
In a provocative book-length essay, Patricia Lynne argues that the majority programmatic overview of pupil writing in U.S. public and better schooling is conceived within the phrases of mid-20th century positivism. on the grounds that composition as a box had came upon its so much appropriate domestic in constructivism, she asks, why do compositionists import a conceptual body for evaluation that's incompatible with composition idea?
By casting this as a conflict of paradigms, Lynne is ready to spotlight the ways that each one concept can and can't effect the form of evaluation inside composition. She laments, as do many in composition, that the objectively orientated paradigm of academic evaluation conception subjugates and mark downs the very social constructionist rules that empower composition pedagogy. extra, Lynne criticizes fresh perform for accommodating the massive enterprise of academic testing—especially for capitulating to the discourse of positivism embedded in phrases like "validity" and "reliability." those phrases and ideas, she argues, have little theoretical importance inside composition reviews, and their technical and philosophical import are downplayed by way of composition overview students.
There is a necessity, Lynne says, for phrases of overview which are local to composition. To open this wanted dialogue in the box, she analyzes state of the art evaluate efforts, together with the paintings of large and Haswell, and she or he advances a suite of exchange phrases for comparing evaluation practices, a suite of phrases grounded in constructivism and composition.
Coming to Terms is bold and principled, and it takes a debatable stand on very important concerns. This robust new quantity in evaluate idea may be of great curiosity to overview experts and their scholars, to composition theorists, and to these now mounting exams of their personal courses.
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Additional info for Coming To Terms: A Theory of Writing Assessment
This emphasis on context suggests that contemporary literacy scholarship relies on a social constructionist epistemology, or even that it operates within a social constructionist paradigm, a connection I will return frequently in this book. This chapter analyzes the value of context in contemporary literacy scholarship in order to delineate more clearly the distinctions between the prevailing scholarly tendencies in literacy and those in assessment. As in the first chapter, part of the analysis is historical.
In effect and reminiscent of many early forays into criteria for assessment, Hillegas claims to measure merit without defining it except to insist that those who know it will recognize it. 6 The subjectivity of the judgments required by those developing and applying the scales was largely ignored; the inconsistency, however, was not. Ultimately, these scales resulted in scores as inconsistent as teachers’ marks without the benefit of scales (Kelly 1914; Sackett 1917). Without consistency, the scales could not claim uniform standards; without uniform standards, they could not claim objectivity; and without objectivity in an age of science, they had to be replaced.
The efficiency of these “new-type” tests far exceeded even the most optimistic expectations for direct assessment. There was no contest. The first developments in indirect testing came from France at the turn of the century when Alfred Binet and his colleagues developed tests to determine the abilities of school children, particularly those in need of additional or special assistance. Like Hillegas’s measurement of composition, Binet’s method for determining the mental age of a child—and thus determining whether or not the child was “subnormal”—was a scale, in this case, a series of thirty tasks of increasing difficulty (Chapman 1988, 19–20).
Coming To Terms: A Theory of Writing Assessment by Patricia Lynne