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WORKSHOP OBJECTIVES: Workshop participants will explore what we already know, and what we need to learn more, about * the kinds of writing most likely.

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Presentation on theme: "WORKSHOP OBJECTIVES: Workshop participants will explore what we already know, and what we need to learn more, about * the kinds of writing most likely."— Presentation transcript:


2 WORKSHOP OBJECTIVES: Workshop participants will explore what we already know, and what we need to learn more, about * the kinds of writing most likely to be required in entry-level postsecondary coursework; * key characteristics of adult education writing instruction that might best align with postsecondary writing requirements; * the writing instruction currently offered in adult education programs to students planning to transition to postsecondary education; *how well this instruction is aligned with the writing requirements of entry-level postsecondary courses; AND will propose strategies for learning what we don’t yet know about 1 through 4!

3 During a 2009 “Adult Readiness Roundtable” co-sponsored by the Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy and the National Center on Education and the Economy, roundtable participants (representatives of 20 “exemplary” adult- education-for-work programs from all over the country) agreed that in their experience the greatest barrier adult education students face in making successful transitions is mastering college-level writing.

4 Writing Purposes/Audiences/Tasks: WHAT WE KNOW AND WHAT WE NEED TO LEARN

5 Freewriting PROMPT: “Postsecondary Writing”

6 Writing Purposes/Audiences/Tasks in Postsecondary Education What do we know? What do we wonder about?

7 For the purposes of this session:: “Writing in Postsecondary Education” = writing required in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and workforce training

8 ATLAS Instructional Practices Alignment : College Faculty Responses with Relevance to Writing Marchwick, K., Johnson, K. A., & Parrish, B. (2008). ATLAS Instructional Practices Alignment Survey. Retrieved October 21, 2010, from veys/FY08_Alignment_Proje.pdf veys/FY08_Alignment_Proje.pdf

9 ON WRITING ASSIGNMENTS 33% report assigning academic research papers A significant number use short-answer assessment Nearly 2/3 of assignments are 2-3 pages

10 ON CRITICAL THINKING: 52.6% report that Synthesizing information from multiple texts when reading is Very or Extremely Important 55.2% report Ability to synthesize information from lecture with other sources of information such as textbooks is Very or Extremely Important 56.7% report that Summarizing, paraphrasing, and synthesizing information from outside sources for writing is Very or Extremely Important

11 ON NOTE-TAKING 48.6% report Taking notes on information read is Very or Extremely Important 57.8% report that Taking notes effectively during teacher-centered lectures is Very or Extremely Important

12 The American Diploma Project (2004) In over 18 months of research, defined a “common core” of fundamental literacy and numeracy skills for high school graduates who are prepared to succeed in credit-bearing college courses or in high- growth, highly skilled occupations.

13 Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association (2010 ). The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects.

14 THE COMMON CORE: College- and career-ready students can 1) write academic and research essays as well as shorter-form responses to prompts, 2) demonstrate understanding of ideas and the ability to think critically about them,

15 THE COMMON CORE: College- and career-ready students can 3) construct and defend arguments, and 4) produce various work-related texts on demand.

16 THE 2014 GED EXAM : High School Equivalency + Career and College Readiness

17 THE “CORE OF THE CORE” AND THE 2014 GED: The new GED is being designed to measure – provide evidence of -- the knowledge and skills most strongly correlated with success in career and college as defined by the Common Core and other state standard systems (TX, VA)

18 “Evidence-Based Writing” and The 2014 GED Test Writing in the new GED will better reflect the kind of writing that students are likely to be called upon to accomplish in college

19 Writing Requirements in The 2014 GED Test 2014 GED test items will ask examinees to read one or more texts (“stimulus”), and then to use writing to * ANALYZE * ARGUE * SUPPORT

20 Writing Requirements in The 2014 GED Test Writing about content (“themes”) in primary/secondary text sources and graphics – 20th century and post-9-11 US History, Civics/Government, Economics, Geography and the world, environmental science, etc.

21 Writing Requirements in The 2014 GED Test * Writing to analyze/summarize ideas, positions and structures * Writing to interpret an author’s purpose * And

22 Writing Requirements in The 2014 GED Test Writing to identify and evaluate arguments/claims of others, or to develop own argument, using text- based evidence as support – often from more than one text

23 Writing Requirements in The 2014 GED Test Simulating real-life editing (applying knowledge of the conventions of standard written English to revise text)

24 Writing Requirements in The 2014 GED Test In other words, candidates will be asked to 1) draw ideas from information they read, and then 2) demonstrate ability to analyze, explain, sequence, evaluate, compare, contrast and synthesize those ideas 3) by writing primarily informational and/or persuasive text.

25 GENRE THEORY Dean, D. (2008). Genre Theory: Teaching, Writing and Being. Washington, DC: National Council of Teachers of English. Effective writers 1) are aware that not all writing is the same; 2) choose and use different kinds (genres) of writing to meet different goals and suit different tasks, audiences, and contexts;

26 GENRE THEORY Effective writers 3) know that each writing genre, whether to meet the purposes of a postsecondary course or a need in another part of life, will have its own language and conventions (Dean, 2008).

27 IMPLICATIONS: Our students need to know, and we can teach them, -- how to clarify the purposes, audiences and contexts (“rhetorical goals”) for any writing assignment. -- how to construct different genres of writing, especially those in the categories of informational and persuasive. -- how to choose and use the “right” writing genres to fit the rhetorical goals of the writing -- how to apply their knowledge of writing conventions in the act of revision.

28 The Writing Process and Teaching/ Learning Strategies: WHAT WE KNOW AND WHAT WE NEED TO LEARN

29 Postsecondary writing success requires the ability to apply a recursive composing process – planning, drafting, evaluating, and revising (Hillocks, 1986).

30 In the postsecondary classroom, … students who write effectively draw upon strategies that include planning, evaluating, and revising text to accomplish a variety of goals, such as writing a report or expressing an opinion with the support of evidence. …writing is (also) a means of extending and deepening students’ knowledge, a tool for learning subject matter. (National Commission on Writing, 2003).

31 The COMMON CORE developers also say 1) high-quality writing results from careful planning, drafting, and meaningful revising. 2) the discipline used to create, reshape, and polish pieces of writing prepares students for occasions when they must write quickly and clearly on demand, whether in the workplace or in college.

32 And the 2014 GED will reflect this: written responses will be scored for * awareness of audience and purpose + organization, development and progression of ideas (ER Scoring Rubric Pt. 2 – 2 points) * ability to apply conventions of standard written English (ER Scoring Rubric Pt. 3 – 2 points)

33 As well as * writing as a response to reading -- understanding of/thinking about content + ability to cite specific and relevant evidence from text to support arguments (ER Scoring Rubric Pt. 1 – 3 points)

34 National Research Council (2011). Improving Adult Literacy Instruction: Options for Practice and Research Postsecondary writing success depends upon the ability to apply the full process of writing – planning, drafting, evaluating, and revising – along with an ability to regulate strategy use (how to select, implement, and coordinate writing strategies; how to monitor, evaluate, and adjust strategies) to achieve writing goals


36 Key Components of the Writing Process 1. Planning Attention to writing purpose Attention to audience Writing to think (generating ideas) Thinking to write (organizing ideas)

37 2. Generating Text 3. Attending to Writing Conventions Grammar Sentence Structure Spelling Punctuation Etc.

38 4. Revising Text Applying knowledge of content Applying knowledge of conventions

39 Though nearly half of all GED credential holders enroll in postsecondary education, less than 4% persist to earn a degree. (Goldberger, 2007).

40 Enrollments in developmental writing courses in community colleges are very large, yet appear to underestimate the number of students who actually need help with writing (Perin, 2006)

41 If students earn a GED credential but cannot plan, evaluate, or revise written text to write a report or express an opinion with the support of evidence, or if they cannot use writing as a tool for learning new subject matter, they may not be fully prepared for college-level coursework. (National Commission on Writing, 2003)

42 Right now, very little research exists * on the kind of writing instruction offered by Adult Education programs to transition-level students, * on the preparation of teachers who provide that instruction, or * on the extent to which that instruction is adequately addressing the writing requirements of postsecondary coursework.

43 Discussion: 1. How does what we already know about the demands of postsecondary writing match up with what we know about how writing is currently being taught at the Adult Ed Transition level? 2. Where do we need more information to help us better match the need with our practice? OUR INITIAL RESEARCH AGENDA ?

44 Contact info Peggy McGuire 717-964-1341

45 Please don’t forget to complete a Workshop Evaluation and Many thanks for attending “Adult Education’s Contribution to Postsecondary Writing Readiness: a Research Agenda?”

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