National Writing Project

Redefining Student Success

By: Karen Deshon Hamlin
Publication: Turning Points in Teaching: Narrative Reflection on Professional Practice
Date: 2001

Summary: By examining the way two "abused, disengaged and disillusioned" seventh graders relate to and perform on a spelling test, Hamlin finds divergent ways for both students to become increasingly connected to their learning. Hamlin is co-director of the Oregon Writing Project at Willamette University.

 

Excerpt

The longer I teach, and maybe the older I get, the less arrogant I become about what I think I know. Like, for instance, with the issue of grading. A number of my teaching colleagues would prefer to eliminate grades. I have silently considered this issue one of pedagogy: making sure students clearly understand the evaluation criteria and have the ability to demonstrate the required knowledge and skills. I've believed that the problem is resolved if students who receive poor grades know how and why they didn't measure up. In thinking back about Ken and Jeremy (not their actual names), however, I've become unsettled with this position.

About the Author Karen DeShon Hamlin is an associate professor in the School of Education at Willamette University, where she also serves as co-director of the Oregon Writing Project at Willamette. She taught English and social studies for 16 years in Oregon's Greater Albany school district.

Copyright © 2001. Reprinted with permission from Willamette University.
DeShon Hamlin, Karen. 2001. "Redefining Student Success." Turning Points in Teaching: Narrative Reflection on Professional Practice: 41–44.

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