Literacy assessment that counts : mediating, interpreting and contesting translocal policy in a primary school

Kerkham, Lyn & Nixon, Helen (2014) Literacy assessment that counts : mediating, interpreting and contesting translocal policy in a primary school. Ethnography and Education, 9(3), pp. 343-358.

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In Australia, as in many western education systems over the last two decades, discourses of accountability and performativity have reshaped education policy that has in turn reorganised the work of school leaders and teachers. One of the effects of this reorganisation is increased attention to the production, analysis and display of student achievement data. In this paper we examine in detail a sequence of the production and reading of literacy assessment data in a small Catholic school. Our analysis uses institutional ethnography’s concept of the ‘active text’, the text as occurring in a specific place and time even as it is articulated to social relations beyond its immediate context. Through this process we learn from those involved how their everyday work brings into being formalised, textually authorised processes in a local site that ensure the school meets accountability requirements while enabling teachers to resist standardisation of literacy teaching and assessment.

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ID Code: 72667
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Published online 27 May 2014. The embargo on the accepted manuscript version will expire on 27 November 2015.
Keywords: institutional ethnography, literacy assessment, standardisation, accountability, primary school literacy
DOI: 10.1080/17457823.2014.917592
ISSN: 1745-7831
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. LOTE ESL and TESOL) (130204)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Education Assessment and Evaluation (130303)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Children & Youth Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Ethnography and Education on 27 May 2014, available online at:
Deposited On: 09 Jun 2014 23:29
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2017 14:39

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