Assessing the Teaching of Writing
Twenty-First Century Trends and Technologies
Although fraught with politics and other perils, teacher evaluation can contribute in important, positive ways to faculty development at both the individual and the departmental levels. Yet the logistics of creating a valid assessment are complicated. Inconsistent methods, rater bias, and overreliance on student evaluation forms have proven problematic. The essays in Assessing the Teaching of Writing demonstrate constructive ways of evaluating teacher performance, taking into consideration the immense number of variables involved.
Contributors to the volume examine a range of fundamental issues, including the political context of declining state funds in education; growing public critique of the professoriate and demands for accountability resulting from federal policy initiatives like No Child Left Behind; the increasing sophistication of assessment methods and technologies; and the continuing interest in the scholarship of teaching. The first section addresses concerns and advances in assessment methodologies, and the second takes a closer look at unique individual sites and models of assessment. Chapters collectively argue for viewing teacher assessment as a rhetorical practice.
Fostering new ways of thinking about teacher evaluation, Assessing the Teaching of Writing will be of great interest not only to writing program administrators but also to those concerned with faculty development and teacher assessment outside the writing program.
‘This collection adds substantially to the conversation about instructional assessment.’
—Patricia Lynne, author of Coming to Terms: A Theory of Writing Assessment
‘The writers and editor draw from various disciplines, are sophisticated in their understanding and use of data, and are wise to the complexity of their subject. Every reader of this substantial book will experience the goal of the collection, to foster new ways of thinking about teacher evaluation.’
—Edward M. White, author of Teaching and Assessing Writing
'As an experienced teacher of writing and future writing program administrator, I found this practical guide to be useful in its articulation of theoretical approaches, description of unique methods that often accompany emergent technologies, and reintroduction to tried-and-true methods in ways that better align them with best practices in writing studies. . . . Dayton’s collection provides fresh insight into the complex work of assessing teaching and learning through reflective but nonetheless rigorous inquiry.'
Amy E. Dayton is associate professor of English at the University of Alabama. Her research interests include historiography, community literacy, language attitudes, literacy in literature, assessment/teacher training, composition theory/pedagogy, and models and methods for community outreach.
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