Rethinking Rubrics in Writing Assessment

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Pearson Education Canada, 2006 - Education - 111 pages
14 Reviews
    The book you're about to read is not only a superb analysis of rubrics but a lesson in how to apply careful thinking to classroom practice.
    -Alfie Kohn, Author of The Case Against Standardized Testing
    This book will create the conversations educators desperately need-about accurate assessment, quality in writing, and informed teaching.
    -Randy Bomer, Author of For a Better World

The conventional wisdom in English education is that rubrics are the best and easiest tools for assessment. But sometimes it's better to be unconventional. In Rethinking Rubrics in Writing Assessment, Maja Wilson offers a new perspective on rubrics and argues for a better, more responsive way to think about assessing writers' progress.

Though you may sense a disconnect between student-centered teaching and rubric-based assessment, you may still use rubrics for convenience or for want of better alternatives. Rethinking Rubrics in Writing Assessment gives you the impetus to make a change, demonstrating how rubrics can hurt kids and replace professional decision making with an inauthentic pigeonholing that stamps standardization onto a notably nonstandard process. With an emphasis on thoughtful planning and teaching, Wilson shows you how to reconsider writing assessment so that it aligns more closely with high-quality instruction and avoids the potentially damaging effects of rubrics.

Stop listening to the conventional wisdom, and turn instead to a compelling new voice to find out why rubrics are often replaceable. Open Rethinking Rubrics in Writing Assessment and let Maja Wilson start you down the path to more sensitive, authentic style of writing assessment.

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Review: Rethinking Rubrics in Writing Assessment

User Review  - Goodreads

I found myself proclaiming, "Yes! Wow!" throughout this whole book. Philosophically, I agree with virtually all Wilson says. Rubrics often hinder instead of facilitate. Rubrics confine both reader and writer alike. We owe it to our students to find a better way to assess. Tremendous read! Read full review

Review: Rethinking Rubrics in Writing Assessment

User Review  - Goodreads

This book pressed a lot of what I see happening in my department. It leaves me in a place that is conflicted... I am intrigued and stuck in thought. I appreciate the challenge. Read full review


My Troubles with Rubrics
The Broken Promises of Rubrics
Why We Dont Practice

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About the author (2006)

Maja Wilson is the author of Rethinking Rubrics in Writing Assessment (Heinemann 2006) and various articles about writing assessment, response to student writing, and the accountability movement. She taught in Michigan's public schools for 10 years, and is currently a teacher educator and composition instructor in Maine. She presents and leads workshops in writing assessment and response to student writing, and can be reached at

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