Theses Doctoral

Writing for Diversity: A Student-Centered Approach to Writing Assessment Research

DeLazzero, Catherine Elizabeth

Writing for Diversity explores why assessment matters in the context of school communities and students’ lives. It draws from the initial findings of a multiyear research study on the consequences of writing assessment in New York City’s public high schools and CUNY colleges to explore a) how students experience writing, learning and school; and b) develop a student-centered approach to writing assessment research (using a variety of creative tools). In the introduction, called “People and Places,” I thread research on assessment consequences into a narrative on my experience in schools. In the first chapter, called “Design and Production,” I describe the project, which is intended to support community-driven, student-centered research, with an emphasis on promoting learning and diversity. In the second chapter, “Ethical Aims and Attempts,” I explore the ethical questions that emerged from field research. In the final chapter, called “Diversity as Knowledge,” I analyze the New York City Department of Education and City University of New York’s current methods for sorting and reporting demographic data and describe what I consider a more future-oriented approach to describing people in places (e.g., self-reporting, intersectional methods of analysis). More important, I share what students had to say through the lens of what I consider goals or desirable consequences of writing assessment: student learning and school success, inclusion, equity and access, and the development of capabilities. I close by arguing for writing, teaching and research that reflects present realities and works toward an unknown and more just future.


This item is currently under embargo. It will be available starting 2026-05-07.

More About This Work

Academic Units
English Education
Thesis Advisors
Blau, Sheridan
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 16, 2018