Myra Barrs: Imagination, Reading, Writing, and Records
Dr. Myra Barrs was until recently Co-Director of the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE). She has worked as a teacher, a publisher, an adviser, and a consultant in the UK, the USA and Canada.
Myra Barrs is co-author and editor of many publications, including the Primary Language Record Handbook, The Reading Book, Whole to Part Phonics,Boys and Writing, The Reader in the Writer and Boys on the Margin. She produced the CLPE video series Learning to be Literate. Other publications include books on assessment, such as Words Not Numbers and Record-Keeping in the Primary School. She has written many articles for academic journals and professional journals on topics including assessment, children’s writing, gender and literacy, and imaginative play. Her research interests include children’s writing and its links with other ways of symbolising meaning.
Myra Barrs was recently elected to the International Reading Association’s Reading Hall of Fame. She is a Visiting Professor at the University of East London.
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Main Topics on the Learning Record Online Web Site
- Learning Record News
- The official blog for news about the Learning Record. You can subscribe to keep up to date.
- Information for Students
- Information about the Learning Record Online provided for students in my classes .
- A Note to Teachers
- A simple method of "small multiples" to keep track of student work without using grades, numbers, or check marks. Plus, instructions on minimal marking, a sane process for helping students work on sentence level errors of grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
- Introduction: What is the Online Learning Record?
- A brief overview of the Learning Record Online (LRO) as a system that integrates teaching and learning, evaluation, and research. The LRO is based on the California Learning Record/Primary Language Record, a simple, yet powerful model for accounting for learning in complex systems. It is based on humane but rigorous and responsible principles of investigation and inquiry. It integrates evaluation and assessment from the micro level (the development and achievements of an individual student) to the macro level (the performance of schools and districts statewide).
- Uses of the LRO: Why Use the Learning Record in Writing Classrooms?
- Rhetorical and Pedagogical Uses of the Learning Record Online.
Beyond the general approval currently enjoyed by portfolio evaluation, there are important rhetorical and pedagogical purposes for using the Learning Record model in writing classrooms. Overall, the Learning Record model engages students in the kinds of activities that foster critical thinking, foreground connections between writers, rhetoric, purposes, and audiences, and demonstrate meaningful uses of writing.
- History of the LR: Origins and development of the Learning Record
- The Learning Record is based on pioneering efforts of Dr. Myra Barrs and others in London, England who developed the Primary Language Record (PLR), and Dr. Mary Barr and others in California, who expanded the British model for the California Learning Record (CLR). The LR extends this very successful model into college-level online teaching and learning environments.
- Principles of the Learning Record model.
- The set of core principles that have guided the development and use of the Learning Record, as articulated by Myra Barrs and Mary Barr.
- Learning Record (Forms)
- The actual document used as a framework for the LRO in college-level courses taught in the Computer Writing and Research Lab in the Division of Rhetoric and Composition at the University of Texas at Austin and other colleges and universities. The blank copy here may be saved as a text file and used either online or in print format. The opening Web page explains the LRO for students. This is linked to the LRO form.
- How to Respond to Learning Records
- Suggestions for commenting helpfully on Learning Records
- Schematic Diagram and Timetable
- A schematic diagram of the parts of the LRO and a sample timetable for their completion.
- An explanation of each section of the Learning Record Online together with examples drawn from records of students at the University of Texas.
- Developmental scales, grades, and moderation readings.
- A substantial section of the LRO web site that explains the relationship between classroom evaluation of student progress and achievement using the Learning Record model, and large-scale assessment. Through moderation readings, pairs of teachers read learning records and compare the documented evidence of what students know and can do with developmental scales which describe patterns of activity typically seen as students pass through stages of literacy development. Reports on the assessment process demonstrate validity and reliability of the model for public accountability, even as it supports diverse teaching methods, classroom activities and student learning styles. This section also describes the relationship between the Learning Record and the institutional requirement to provide grades in typical classes.
- The Learning Record model compared with other methods of evaluating learning.
- Standardized testing, conventional grading practices, and portfolio assessment have attempted to address the need for evaluating student learning and achievement. What makes the PLR/CLR/LRO model superior to these methods?
- Research Projects
- Description of recent research involving the Learning Record
- The Learning Record model for professional development of teachers
- Experience has shown that the Learning Record model has a profound, transformative effect on the ways that teachers view teaching and learning situations, and on the dynamics of their relationship with students.
- Students and teachers comment on the Learning Record Online
- Reflections on the use of the record from teachers and students.
- Listed here are over 70 bibliographic references for sources of information about the Primary Language Record, Learning Record, and Online Learning Record