Interrogating the benchmarks
Wyatt-Smith, Claire. (1998) Interrogating the benchmarks. English in Australia. 123, pp. 20-28.
Literacy standards, or more specifically, the rise and fall of such standards, are a matter of increasing national policy interest in several countries including Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia. This article is about literacy standards as fixed points of reference for assessing both individual students and student cohorts at a year level. Specifically, the article focuses on the Australian literacy benchmarks for Year 3 and Year 5. The benchmarks were endorsed by the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) in April 1998 as the standards to be used in national reporting of the literacy achievement of students at the designated year levels. In the following discussion I shall focus on the techniques adopted for specifying the literacy benchmarks, examining the strengths and limitations of those techniques and the utility of the benchmarks for informing teachers about 'the portable outcomes that should be available from their pedagogies' (Freebody, 1998:14) . Throughout the discussion, the term assessment is interpreted so as to include the judgment (or appraisal, or evaluation) of a student 's work or performance for purposes of 1) measuring achievement and 2) determining the need for improvement. To set the scene, I shall consider the literacy benchmarks as a part of Australia 's National Literacy and Numeracy Plan, as outlined in Literacy for All: The Challenge for Australian Schools (Department of Employment, Education , Training and Youth Affairs, 1998).
|Journal||English in Australia|
|Journal citation||123, pp. 20-28|
|Publisher||Australian Association for the Teaching of English|
|Page range||20 - 28|
|Research Group||Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education (ILSTE)|
|Place of publication||Australia|
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