Assessing Reading: From theories to classrooms

Marian Sainsbury, Colin Harrison, Andrew Watts

16 June 2006

What is meant by the term 'reading' and what does it include? This book sets out to explore some of the theories, practices and conflicts that surround the idea of reading at the beginning of the 21st century. Based on a series of seminars held in 2003 and 2004, with the purpose of exploring the construct of reading, specialists in assessment and reading from the United Kingdom, France and the United States present their perspectives on current issues, including:

  • is 'reading' recognising words, with their role in communication purely secondary, or is it impossible to understand what 'reading' is without communicating meanings?
  • what and who is assessment of reading for - the learner, the teacher and other professionals? Or is there an element of political accountability when it comes to the assessment of reading?

The participants in the seminars represented a range of interests in and allegiances to these differing views on the nature of reading and on the purpose of assessment. Contributors included cognitive psychologists with research interests in reading, educationalists with a range of research backgrounds in the teaching and learning of literacy and literature, assessment specialists, and test developers.

Assessing reading will be a key text for undergraduate and postgraduate education students and lecturers, teacher educators, teachers of reading, educational psychologists and all those interested in reading theory and reading assessment.

How do we assess reading? Let me count the ways... Or let this comprehensive theoretical, historical and practical volume tell you.

Greg Brooks, Professor of Education, University of Sheffield