Rethinking Metaphors of Classroom Assessment


  • Dennis Odo



Assessment, Assessment Literacy


The lenses and metaphors we use to describe the world around us affect the way we view and interact with the world. bearing this truism in mind, this essay urges educators to revisit the popular assessment as puzzle metaphor. I contend that while this methphor has served scholars and practitioners well in the past our current understandings of the assessment process point to a need to upgrade this image. While the puzzle metaphor allowed an expanded conception of assessment it also obscured the static view of assessment that it promoted. The organism within an ecosystem metaphor proposed here may help policymakers understand that the larger purpose of assessment is not solely about collecting and evaluating artifacts but it is rather about making well informed decisions that support the learning needs of students. This perspective shift may help us better appreciate the complexity of effective assessment as well as the need for ongoing professional development that supports teachers’ assessment literacy growth.


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How to Cite

Odo, D. (2015). Rethinking Metaphors of Classroom Assessment. GATESOL Journal, 24(2).



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