I won’t try to add anything to this compelling review done here, and the critiques the reviewer made are accurate and make sense. I agree that she’s a bit too quick to dismiss White and Huot, and I would add that this method of assessing writing will be a hard sell in resource-strapped comp programs.
One critique the reviewer didn’t mention is the assessment context of which we are a part. I’m aware that this isn’t all that compelling an argument, but since for most departments this context is the one in which they exist, I’m not sure that this theory will have that much impact. Lynne is absolutely correct in noting that our power in comp programs would be increased if we could create such a paradigm-changing theory. I’m looking forward to its arrival.
I’m especially curious about the themes she comes up with, meaningfulness and ethics. I’ve been looking at a term like meaningfulness as I try to understand just how engaged students are with writing projects, especially in literature. I’ve thought about using a dialectic of sorts that opposes (sort of) mechanical accomplishment and engagement, but I’m not sure that’s the best theme.
If we use meaningfulness, would the rubric be something like this:
|Meaningfulness||Text’s connection to specific audience is clear, subtle, and powerful. Purpose is made compelling and respectful, with use of multiple, relevant references.||Text’s connection to specific audience clear, and purpose is made compelling and respectful.||Text connects to audience clearly, but audience could be better defined. Purpose is clear.||Text’s connection to audience is general, and purpose is unclear and perhaps non-existent.|
|Ethics||I’m not sure what goes here.||I’m not sure what goes here.||I’m not sure what goes here.||I’m not sure what goes here.|
There are obvious flaws here (umm, the second row is blank), and I have not worked with Bloom’s taxonomy at all, but perhaps this approach has some merit.
More to come, of course.