Assessment, Politics & Early Literacy - Easy Prague
Assessment, Politics & Early Literacy A Vygotskian Analysis of the DIBELS Literacy Assessment Research Team Sue Novinger & Amy Barnhill State University of New York at Brockport Nancy Knipping & Carol Gilles University of Missouri Carol Lauritzen & Ruth Davenport Eastern Oregon University Aims To examine the contexts in which the Dynamic Indicators of Early Literacy Skills assessment (DIBELS) is situated To explore the ways DIBELS positions readers at risk To examine the ways DIBELS influences teachers and childrens views of the reading process and of
proficient reading Theoretical Framework Discourse Reading First Based on report of the National Reading Panel, which officially defines reading and reading instruction Phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, fluency with text, vocabulary, comprehension Alignment of district policies and practices to federal guidelines Dynamic Indicators of Basic Literacy Skills (DIBELS) Automaticity model Interactive model Fluency Tests as mediational means that enact relations of power
Tools encapsulate discursive truths Normalize particular truths while marginalizing others Surveillance, classification, distribution, governance Power as a relationship to struggle Methods Two researchers at each site in the US: Northeast, Midwest, & Northwest Participants 32 third-grade students 10 each from Northeast & Northwest sites 12 from Midwest, all enrolled in Title I (program for low-income students) Data Collection: DIBELS One-minute DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency (DORF) & Retelling Fluency (RTF) for three mid-year third-grade benchmark stories
Oral fluency scores: correct words per minute Retelling scores: number of words in a one-minute retelling Data Collection: QRI-4 Oral reading of graded word lists, graded narrative passages, retelling, questions Total accuracy Total acceptability Correct words per minute Miscues Retelling: number of idea units Percentage of comprehension questions answered correctly
Ratings DIBELS High Risk, Some Risk, Low Risk QRI Independent, Instructional, Frustration Teachers High, Average, Low Data Collection: Interviews Students Views of reading process & themselves as readers Responses to each test, possible improvements Comparison of tests Midwest Title I teacher who worked with students Ways she uses DIBELS Evaluation of DIBELS
Teacher High High High High High High High High High QRI -4 Independent Instructional Frustration Independent Instructional Frustration Indepe ndent Instructional Frustration
DIBELS Low risk Low risk Low risk Some risk Some risk Some risk At risk At risk At risk Students BAYLIE, KYRA, JARED Kurt, Shelby, Taylor Average Average Average Average Average
Average Average Average Average Independent Instructional Frustration Independent Instructional Frustration Independent Instructional Frustration Low risk Low risk Low risk Some risk Some risk Some risk
At risk At risk At risk Molly Kayla, Makala, Trevor, Allison Elizabeth Eli, Grace , Brian DREW, MALIK, CARLY Low Low Low Low Low Low Low Low Low Independent
Inst ructional Frustration Independent Instructional Frustration Independent Instructional Frustration Low risk Low risk Low risk Some risk Some risk Some risk At risk At risk At risk Albany, Marilyn, Emily, Brianna
Desmond, Justin Marissa, Brittany, Matthew NIC OLE, BOBBY, LEXIE, JENNA, ALEJANDRA Teacher High High High Average Average Average Low Low Low QRI -4 Independent Independent Independent
Independent Independent Independent Ind ependent Independent Independent DIBELS Low risk Some risk At risk Low risk Some risk At risk Low risk Some risk At risk Students BAYLIE, KYRA, JARED
High High High Average Aver age Average Low Low Low Instructional Instructional Instructional Instructional Instructional Instructional Instructional Instructional Instructional Low risk
Some risk At risk Low risk Some risk At risk Low risk Some risk At risk Kurt, Shelby, Taylor High High High Average Average Average Low Low Low
Frustra tion Frustration Frustration Frustration Frustration Frustration Frustration Frustration Frustration Low risk Some risk At risk Low risk Some risk At risk Low risk Some risk At risk Molly
Eli, Grace, Brian Kayla, Makala, Trevor, Allison DREW, MALIK, CARLY Albany, Marilyn, Emily, Brianna Desmond, Justin Marissa, Brittany, Matthew Elizabeth NICOLE, BOBBY, LEXIE, JENNA, ALEJANDRA Teacher High Average Low High Average Lo w High
Students BAYLIE, KYRA, JARED Molly Kurt, Shelby, Taylor Kayla, Makala, Trevor, Allison Elizabeth Eli, Grace, Brian DREW, MALIK, CARLY Desmond, Justin Albany, Marilyn, Emily, Brianna Marissa, Brittany, Matthew NIC OLE, BOBBY, LEXIE, JENNA, ALEJANDRA Findings DIBELS tends to position readers away from
the middle while QRI tends to place them toward the middle. Category labels contribute to positioning: DIBELS assigns all readers to a risk category; QRI labels according to independence with text. DORF/RTF may misidentify: Students who sound fluent, but do not comprehend well Students who do not sound fluent, but who comprehend proficiently Cannot identify using only speed & accuracy Assessment tools influence students views of the reading process, of proficient reading, and of themselves as readers. DIBELS: rate and accuracy, not comprehension How fast I can do the words QRI: overall ability as readers, sometimes comprehension How good I can read; If you know what the paragraph means;
I can answer questions about the story. -60% of students thought QRI told more about them as readers, primarily because they were able to finish the stories. You didnt stop me in the middle of the story, and you can see how I read the rest of the story. Overwhelming majority of children said they liked both tests Wide variation in suggestions for improving tests (add pictures, make it funnier, add sports or mysteries, add/take out hard words) One child suggested not taking the tests: Have people read any book they want to the teacher. -Students reproduced discursive knowledge as embodied by DIBELS, focusing on reading as speed and accuracy. -Students also resisted the dominant discourse, noting that they wanted to finish reading or not
be required to take reading tests. DIBELS has the potential to mediate teachers views of students and of the reading process. Interview with Annette, Title I teacher from the Midwest, who worked with the students who were tested Annette accepted dominant discourse -Accepted concepts of grade level & risk level -Accepted fluency as a measure of overall reading proficiency -Used proficiency-monitoring graphs of students rate to motivate them to spend time reading Annette resisted dominant discourse -Included prosody in her concept of fluency along with rate & accuracy Worked with students on what good reading sounds like
-Used 1-minute retelling to gauge comprehension and taught comprehension strategies: -include main points in retelling -slow down to pick up important ideas -share what theyve read in book talks Annettes messages for students: -Readers improve by spending time reading. -Reading is making meaning, and the more one reads, the faster one will be able to read. -DIBELS has mediated Annettes thinking about readers & reading on some points. -Annette draws on other discourses about reading and assessment on other points. -Evidence of a teacher trying to make meaning as she is immersed in multiple discourses. Conclusions DIBELS acts as a mediational means that: Normalizes fluency (narrowed to rate &
accuracy) as what counts as proficient reading Influences childrens & teachers internalization of dominant discursive truths of reading, readers, assessment & instruction Categorizes all children at some level of risk Children and teachers draw on alternative discourses to critique and contest dominant discursive truths that would position them in limited and limiting ways.
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