Brown Bag—How Standardized Tests Have Asked Students to Read Literature, 1900–Present

May 22, 2017
Time: 
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Speaker: 
Sarah Levine
Location: 
CERAS Learning Hall, Stanford University
Cost: 
Free and open to the public

Sarah Levine will present on "A Hundred years of Tone and Mood: How Standardized Tests Have Asked Students to Read Literature, 1900–Present" as part of SCOPE's Brown Bag Seminar Series.

In this May 22nd lecture, Dr. Levine will discuss her analysis of 50 New York State standardized tests designed to assess students' literary reading. This research aims to understand how teachers and test-makers have framed and valued literary reading over the past 12 decades. Dr. Levine will report on trends in author and genre choices over the years, and then explore the tests' relationships to literary and pedagogical theories by asking:

  • What kinds of interpretive demands do the tests make upon students?
  • What epistemological stances do tests ask students to take?
  • How do tests frame the relationship between reader, text, and author?
  • Which tests fail, and which get the highest grade?

The talk will conclude with a discussion of test questions that might be worth teaching to. There should be plenty of time for discussion, so bring your own questions, ideas, and favorite English tests.

Sarah Levine is Assistant Professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Dr. Levine's primary goal as an academic is to help shape the teaching and learning of secondary English teachers and contribute to research that will help students — especially those in urban and under-resourced schools — become independent readers and writers. Learn more

Sponsors for the 2016–17 SCOPE Brown Bag Seminar series are:

  • The Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity
  • The John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities
  • The Stanford Graduate School of Education