Assessing multiliteracies and the new basics

Mary Kalantzis, Bill Cope, Andrew Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper addresses the skills and characteristics required of successful learners, workers and citizens in the knowledge economy. The authors trace the shifting commercial, technological and cultural conditions characteristic of this economy, and highlight the key qualities now required for individual success. Effective learners will increasingly need to be autonomous and self-directed, flexible, collaborative, of open sensibility, broadly knowledgeable, and able to work productively with linguistic and cultural diversity. While still prevalent, it is held that standardised testing and a 'back to basics' approach to curriculum are unable to promote and measure effectively these skills and sensibilities. Instead, a broader and more creative approach to curriculum and assessment is recommended. A 'new basics' is argued for at the level of curriculum, with correlative assessment techniques such as analysis of portfolios, performance, projects and group work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-26
Number of pages12
JournalAssessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Plant Science


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