The Learning Record


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K-12 Developmental Scales

How is it possible to interpret or assess student literacy development on the basis of diverse materials, teaching methods, and classroom environments? While it is important to understand how students develop as readers and writers at the classroom level, it is also necessary to provide a method for aggregating information about literacy learning for public accountability on a larger scale, at the level of the district, region, and state. The LR provides a set of scales for this purpose. They differ significantly from –rubrics” or –standards,” which specify an –ideal,” with levels of increasing –deficits” below the ideal, until the –lowest” level represents an entirely impoverished or deficient case. Rather, the scales used in the LR describe observable features of development in reading and writing (–descriptors”). The LR scales consider every stage of literacy development as a positive step representing important gains for learners, based on five interdependent dimensions of learning: confidence and independence; mastery of skills and strategies; use of prior and emerging experience; knowledge of content matter; and reflection or –metacognition.” These scales represent hundreds of hours of observations by educators in a wide variety of learning environments, with thousands of students, and they focus entirely on how students demonstrate what they know and can do. The numerical result of the placement is provided to allow for statistical aggregation of large numbers of Records, rather than for individual –grading” or –sorting.” The materials gathered in the LR provide evidence in support of the teacher's assessment of the studentês placement on the scales. They synthesize information based on student products and information about student activities, through a focus on the five dimensions of learning. Although these scales have already been validated with thousands of students both in England and in the U.S., they continue to be revised for clarity, precision, and validity. The LR is an open record of achievement, accessible to students and parents, maintained and monitored by the teacher for signs that students are moving toward agreed upon goals and standards.

What is the relationship between the Learning Record and established performance standards? >>

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