Measuring Production and Comprehension of Written Arguments in Upper-Elementary Grades

Alina Reznitskaya, Ian A. G. Wilkinson


We describe a systematic process of developing measures of argument production and comprehension. These measures, designed for students in upper-elementary language arts classrooms, are called Writing Argument and Reading Argument. We discuss the rationale and theoretical framework for the measures, describe pilot and validation studies, and present initial findings to support the reliability, validity, and usability of these measures. Our results showed that both measures had acceptable inter-rater reliability. The correlations among Writing Argument, Reading Argument and an established reading comprehension test were moderate, which highlights the importance of task-specific competencies. The performance on both measures was not associated with ethnicity of the students. Gender was a significant predictor, with girls performing better than boys. Teachers found both measures to be pedagogically useful. Although some teachers initially struggled with learning how to use the scoring rubrics, they generally found the scoring for both tasks to be informative for their practice.

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writing argument; reading argument; measures; validation; elementary grades

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Výkonná redakce: Klára Šeďová, Roman Švaříček, Zuzana Šalamounová, Martin Sedláček, Karla Brücknerová, Petr Hlaďo.

Redakční rada: Milan Pol (předseda redakční rady), Gunnar Berg, Michael Bottery, Hana Cervinkova, Theo van Dellen, Eve Eisenschmidt, Peter Gavora, Yin Cheong Cheng, Miloš Kučera, Adam Lefstein, Sami Lehesvuori, Jan Mareš, Jiří Mareš, Jiří Němec, Angelika Paseka, Jana Poláchová Vašťatková, Milada Rabušicová, Alina Reznitskaya, Michael Schratz, Martin Strouhal, Petr Svojanovský, António Teodoro, Tony Townsend, Anita Trnavčevič, Jan Vanhoof, Arnošt Veselý, Kateřina Vlčková, Eliška Walterová.

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