Multi Paragraph Essay Rubric

Multi Paragraph Essay Rubric-43
You group information based on similarity (proximity).

You group information based on similarity (proximity).

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As a social constructivist, I’ve always disliked them. We teachers are actually wedged between rubrics on both sides.

Evaluation is complex, demanding, hard to streamline. In my experience, this is the form of rubric that sees the most use.

A rubric is supposed to be a step toward empiricism.

It’s supposed to reduce the complex reality of a student’s cognitive work and expression into a series of discrete, observable realities. But I’ll just focus on three major problems here, with particular emphasis on the third.

I knew how to play to the rubric, so I consistently scored “4.” I didn’t grow as a teacher. But my colleagues — teachers I respected, teachers I had learned from — got lackluster “3s.” They were told “excellence” (as defined by Danielson), “was a place we sometimes visit, but no one lives there.” We teachers don’t like being evaluated by rubrics. And we tell ourselves the students are supposed to use this “feedback” to get better at writing. To my mind, this goes beyond irony, or even hypocrisy. Sometimes the scale is your typical letter grade scale — A through F.

Rubrics are a kind of Kafkaesque bureaucracy in miniature, a little hell we create for ourselves and our students without knowing why or how. Rubrics, like five-paragraph essays, aren’t the source of the problem. In my career, I’ve used various numeric scales, such as the 9-point AP Language and Composition essay scoring scale, or 4-point scales based on the rubrics published by AAC&U. For instance, sometimes the criteria are, stupidly, “Introduction,” “Body,” “Conclusion.” As if the skills required to produce these types of paragraphs were discrete.

The overarching metaphor is nearness to the center is accuracy.

I’ve also done my best to design all the rubric elements so that their grouping and size communicate their relationship and importance.


Comments Multi Paragraph Essay Rubric

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