Assessments and their strength to improve literacy

Elementary children running

In her book, Mindset, published in 2007, Dr. Carol Dweck, a leading researcher in developmental psychology, identified what she calls the “learning mindset.” In this way of thinking, she explains, people see learning as a process and use feedback as a way of improving their knowledge or skills. This mindset correlates to the heart of what assessments are meant to do: mark progress, find weak areas, and guide improvement endeavors. In regard to Common Core and literacy, Pam Allyn, world-renowned expert in home and school literacy connections, shares a similar view.

Pam believes “Rather than collect data for collection’s sake, let’s collect data to inspire us to teach and learn more fully and richly than ever before.” In this fourth installment of a four-part podcast series, Pam explains the goal of standardized tests and how teachers can use the data collected not only annually, but also through assessments that are built into teaching practice. Formative and summative assessments are widely used in primary education, and Pam outlines how summative assessments are used in the Common Core Standards. Then to close out the talk, Pam talks about performance-based assessments and some of the advantages in relation to Common Core.



Listen to the first podcast: Common Core Standards and Their Impact on Literacy.

Listen to the second podcast: The Four Doors of Common Core State Standards.

Listen to the third podcast: The Art of Close Reading.


About Pam Allyn
Pam Allyn

Pam Allyn

Pam Allyn is a world-renowned literacy expert, author, and motivational speaker. She is the founding director of LitWorld, a global literacy initiative serving children across the United States and in more than 60 countries, and LitLife, a cutting-edge consulting group working with schools to enrich best practice teaching methods and building curriculum for reading and writing. She has written many books including an English/Language Arts Core Ready series that offers teachers ideas to make the most of their time in the classroom.

Pam received the 2013 Scholastic Literacy Champion Award, and is Scholastic’s Open a World of Possible Ambassador. She is a spokesperson for BIC Kids, championing BIC’s 2014 “Fight For Your Write” campaign. Pam was selected as a mentor for the 2013 Bush Institute’s Women’s Initiative Fellowship to help young Egyptian women develop leadership skills. She was chosen as an inaugural W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fellow in April 2014, becoming a part of a national cohort of 20 fellows focusing on racial healing and equity. She is on the Advisory Boards of the Amherst College Center for Community Engagement, James Patterson’s ReadKiddoRead, the Pearson Foundation’s We Give Books, and the Millennium Cities Initiative Social Sector.