The assessment of literacy: working the zone between ‘system’ and ‘site’ validity

Peter Freebody, Claire Wyatt-Smith


In this paper we address questions regarding the assessment of literacy, exploring the
idea that practical judgements made in specific communities of practice are the
phenomena at the intersection of validity for (1) local sites and (2) administrative
systems. We propose a template for considering the challenges facing systems,
administrators and teachers as they work to validly assess the important aspects of
literacy learning by students in schools. We identify and discuss some concerns and
assumptions that are common across the two validity sites, and some that are distinctive.

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