Download Alternatives to Grading Student Writing by Stephen Tchudi PDF

By Stephen Tchudi

Comparing a student's development as a author calls for remarkable a fragile stability among the student's wishes and the school's wishes. This selection of essays bargains numerous cutting edge techniques, concluding with principles for formulating plans of motion for introducing grading possible choices in study rooms, faculties, and districts.

A selection of essays, assembled via the NCTE's Committee on choices to Grading pupil Writing.

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The teacher sticks to the knowledge level of Bloom's taxonomy, because there are right answers that are easily measured, rather than challeng­ ing students' critical-thinking skills. In writing, it is easier to evaluate usage, spelling, and punctuation, so grading is often reduced to these. Jongsma writes: While it may be easy to evaluate spelling and punctuation, these skills pale into insignificance beside the ability to create, to imagine, to relate one thought to another, to organize, to reason, or to catch the nuances of English prose.

Doing so requires them to become skillful at self-assessing, which of course develops critical-thinking 19 Marie Wilson Nelson 20 skills and is dependent upon high mutual trust in the classroom com­ munity. Growth-biased teaching/assessing is integrated and indivisible and relies on a shifting scale of concerns, one successful writers use to cope with writing's complex demands. From fluency, to global issues like clarity, organization, and voice, to the fine-tuning done by poets and copy editors, growth-biased teachers are constantly upping the ante, bringing writers along as far as they can come and encouraging them so that they can go even farther.

Grades promote destructive comparisons among students and do not motivate the vast majority of students to succeed. Students usually rated as A students have met a certain exter­ nally established standard or are perceived as being somehow "better" than B, C, and D students. I believe in standards. I think our standards are abysmally low. I am appalled at the quality of most writing I see, student and professionaL I think we expect too little of our children and our adults. I think everyone should write grammatically, con­ cisely, clearly, thoughtfully.

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