Single Stories Are Not Fair to Learners

In her article, Mitigating the Dangers of a Single Story:  Creating Large-Scale Writing Assessments Aligned With Sociocultural Theory, Nadia Behizadeh says:

If a child does not perform well on [one timed large-scale assessment essay], there will be a single story told about this student: he/she has below basic skills in writing, or maybe even far below basic skills. Yet this same student may be a brilliant poet or have a hundred pages of a first novel carefully stowed in his/her backpack. However, when a single story of deficiency is repeated again and again to a student, that student develops low writing self-efficacy and a poor self-concept of himself/herself as a writer. . . . [T]he danger of the single story is the negative effect on students when one piece of writing on a decontextualized prompt is used to represent writing ability. (pp. 125-126)

http://edr.sagepub.com/content/43/3/125

Large scale assessment needs to change – particularly in how it’s used.  It really doesn’t tell us about learning.

Author: Judy

Educator, learner, thinker, innovator. With 30 years of teaching under my belt - 16 of those as a school based administrator who taught in the classroom every day - I am on a new venture as Principal of Special Projects. I'm no longer at "a" school - I'm at all of our schools. I no longer have a staff or students of my own. Instead, I think deeply about learning for all in our district. Students, teachers, support staff, me. This blog is my commitment to reading, thinking and learning about education and sharing it with all of the amazing educators out there.

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