Revolution Lullabye

May 1, 2009

Durst, Roemer, and Schultz, Portfolio Negotiations

Durst, Russel K. , Marjorie Roemer, and Lucille M. Schultz. “Portfolio Negotiations: Acts in Speech.” In New Directions in Portfolio Assessment. Eds. Black, Diaker, Sommers, and Stygall. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook, 1994. 286-300. In Assessing Writing. Eds. Huot and O’Neill. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009. 218-232.

Using the conversations from two groups of instructors grading portfolios (one beginning TAs, the other veteran teachers), the authors show how the discussion that takes place is a performative speech-act (J.L. Austin), whereby the conversations are making judgments, negotiations, and setting community standards and values for student writing. They argue that grading papers is an act of reading, a complex and inexact process, that will result in inconsistency among graders, but this inconsistency is a powerful force that can be harnessed for further program development and identity-making.

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