The Cultural Practice of Reading and the Standardized Assessment of Reading Instruction: When Incommensurate Worlds Collide

Oct. 28, 2009

Source: Educational Researcher, Vol. 38, No. 7, 522-527 (2009).

This article critiques the articles by Connor et al., Croninger and Valli, Pianta and Hamre, and Rowan and Correnti, which appeared in the March 2009 issue of Educational Researcher, by taking a cultural-historical perspective on reading and reading instruction.

In this paradigm a number of those authors’ assumptions are seen as questionable, including the beliefs about reading that it is a self-evident construct, that it is a discrete act, and that it is an acultural act.

The author of this critique presents evidence that challenges each of these assumptions and argues that by accepting them, the authors of the critiqued articles institute an order that values the system above relational aspects of schooling and teachers’ informed decision making.

Carol McDonald Connor, Frederick J. Morrison, Barry J. Fishman, Claire Cameron Ponitz, Stephanie Glasney, Phyllis S. Underwood, Shayne B. Piasta, Elizabeth Coyne Crowe, and Christopher Schatschneider (2009). The ISI Classroom Observation System: Examining the Literacy Instruction Provided to Individual Students. Educational Researcher, 38: 85-99.

Robert G. Croninger and Linda Valli. (2009). "Where Is the Action?" Challenges to Studying the Teaching of Reading in Elementary Classrooms. Educational Researcher, 38: 100-108.

Robert C. Pianta and Bridget K. Hamre (2009). Conceptualization, Measurement, and Improvement of Classroom Processes: Standardized Observation Can Leverage Capacity
Educational Researcher, 38: 109-119.

Brian Rowan and Richard Correnti (2009). Studying Reading Instruction With Teacher Logs: Lessons From the Study of Instructional Improvement. Educational Researcher, 38: 120-131.

Updated: Jan. 31, 2010