Fostering agency through dialogue in classroom writing assessment

Sarah W. Beck, Karis Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Student agency is considered an important outcome of formative assessment, yet we know little about how interactional dynamics between teacher and student are implicated in the development of agency. Using Bakhtinian notions of dialogic space and persuasive voice, we analyze how four high school teachers assess and support students' writing processes in conference-like assessment events, tracing whether and to what extent student concerns were addressed. We found that teachers created dialogic space for agency and supported students' knowledge construction by positioning themselves as interested readers, eliciting students' ideas and confusion, and offering customized support for students’ use of sociocultural tools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104012
JournalTeaching and Teacher Education
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • Agency
  • Informal assessment
  • Teacher student interaction
  • Writing conferences
  • Writing instruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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