Wednesday, October 07, 2015

1st Formative Submission: Critical Reviewing of Two Texts II; or, Vertigo in the Virtual Library

Blimey. Only a few days into the EdD, and I'm beginning to feel stretched. In an expected way: the way one feels stretched as a new undergraduate, or Masters student. Getting overlap between study and work, I'm using background reading for a report into test performance of the first biggish cohort of learners (n=529) to also cover the critical-review task. 

Which has given me a reason to closely read Tienken, C (2012), and How Next-Generation Standards and Assessments Can Foster Success for California’s English Learners, (2011).  (The former a peer reviewed academic paper, the latter a policy document, as required for the EdD formative submission). 

The vertigo comes in with the realisation that critical reading of these documents takes a lot more time and effort, and involves peering under rocks or up into the branches of familiar trees, and taking a second and third look. 

For example, Tienken (2012) is published in one of the journals of an educational organisation which boasts more than a million members, of whom I'd never heard before, and whose wikipedia entry has not been subjected to any critical input, it would appear; (and there's the likelihood that an "honor society" is a positive organization, despite the fact it sounds slightly anachronistic, not to say odd, to my ears). Nevertheless, I'm now obliged to think, "What's their angle, then?" 

Ditto for the How Next Generation Standards... paper, which references the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) which I hadn't heard of until this week - perhaps working in Assessment, often with American academics, I should have. So I've got to spend a bit of time investigating what their angle might be, also. 

This is all skill sharpening, as well as knowledge gathering. Which is just as well, because I'm beginning to wonder if the CCSS is the best arena for my research, I might be better off with Curriculum for Excellence and the SQA and their ESOL provision. But that's not a decision for now.