A lot of what Allington writes about in chapter 18 of Adolescent Literacy is what we have been discussing all semester. He notes the importance of creating a classroom community, using multiple texts, instituting strategies for thinking as well as doing, using and sharing various perspectives, making connections to real-life, and the importance of high-quality instruction, all day, everyday.
I’m not going to take a lot of time to reiterate a lot of what we have been (and will be) talking about this semester, but I did want to point to one section of this chapter: the idea that the effective teacher has accomplishments for each student that are “something special,” something beyond test scores.
To follow up, here is the quote that Allington points to in this chapter:
I frequently watched teachers accomplish remarkable things with their students and at the end of the day express guilt about their failure to accomplish this or that part of the curriculum. The guilt was, in my view, both unfounded and unproductive. It was due, in part, to the teachers’ inability to name all the things they did accomplish. (286)
Is teaching to the test allowing us to ignore critical literacies that teachers introduce to students? How can we grade a student (on a multiple-choice test) who has an astounding ability to take the perspective of someone of a different race, class, or religion? What do you all think?