Other Duties as Assigned: The Hidden Work of Reading and Writing Assessments in Two Primary Classrooms

Holly Carol Parkinson, Rosamund Kathryn Stooke


This article presents findings from a qualitative investigation into the literacy work of two Ontario primary teachers. Informed by the writing of Dorothy E. Smith, we construe the literacy curriculum as a social accomplishment, the product of many people’s work. Through a critical examination of field notes and teachers’ accounts of their work, we explicate ways in which required reading and writing assessments were mediating a hidden curriculum. Specifically we discuss a paradoxical finding that both teachers organized their literacy curriculum in ways that facilitated the collection of assessment data, yet neither teacher explicitly employed assessment data when making pedagogical decisions and neither teacher mentioned assessment work when describing her school’s literacy curriculum.


Literacy Assessment

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.20360/G2JS3H