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Reflections on Assessment From a Sociocultural-Situated Perspective


by James Paul Gee — 2007

This chapter is a reflection on assessment and the implications and uses of assessments from what will be called a “sociocultural-situated” perspective on language, learning, and mind. By “sociocultural” I mean to indicate the importance of the fact that human beings are givers and takers of meaning and the meanings they give and take can come from no other place than the cultures and social groups within which they act and interact (Gee, 1992, 1996). This is so for much the reasons Wittgenstein (1958) pointed to in his well-known argument about the impossibility of “private” languages. By “situated” I mean to indicate the importance of the fact that the meanings which humans give and take are always customized to—situated within—actual situations or contexts of use (Gee, 2004, 2005). Humans make meanings that both shape the contexts they are in and are shaped by them (Duranti, 1992).


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 106. No. 1.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 109 Number 13, 2007, p. 362-375
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18529, Date Accessed: 12/17/2017 7:06:45 AM

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About the Author
  • James Gee
    Arizona State University
    E-mail Author
    JAMES PAUL GEE is the Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.
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