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Writing Teachers Are Teachers Who Write: The Developing Technical, Reflective, and Creative Writing Lives of Pre-service Teachers Cynthia Lassonde, Alison.

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Presentation on theme: "Writing Teachers Are Teachers Who Write: The Developing Technical, Reflective, and Creative Writing Lives of Pre-service Teachers Cynthia Lassonde, Alison."— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing Teachers Are Teachers Who Write: The Developing Technical, Reflective, and Creative Writing Lives of Pre-service Teachers Cynthia Lassonde, Alison Black, Jane Miller, Hanfu Mi, and Krislynn Dengler State University of New York College at Oneonta IRA 52 nd Annual Convention Toronto, Canada May 15, 2007

2 IRA 2007 Research Objective The instructors of three sequenced literacy courses in an elementary teacher education program will share preliminary research findings that address critical questions about pre-service teachers perceptions of writing and themselves as writers.

3 IRA 2007 The instructors looked at facets of Technical writing, Reflective writing, and Creative writing in an effort to facilitate pre-service teachers development of confidence and ability in their writing lives.

4 IRA 2007 Research Questions How do pre-service teachers develop as writers? How do their perceptions of themselves as writers influence their growth as writers? How do they view their progress as technical, creative, and reflective writers through the literacy sequence?

5 IRA 2007 Writing Assignments * Writing assignments counted as data. CourseEDUC 284EDUC 235EDUC 236 Technical Lesson Plan Case Study*IRI Report Reflective Journals*Field Experience*DL-TA Reflection Mini-lesson*GRLP Reflection Read to Feed Reflection* Poetry Reflection* Creative Poetry Poetry Pre- and Post-Survey*

6 IRA 2007 Student Profile High School –Have passed NYS English Language Arts (ELA) Regents College –Sophomore status –Have passed the College Writing Exam –Have completed Composition 100 –Have completed Education 106 –A variety of general education courses

7 IRA 2007 Evidence Base Writing is a cognitive and social process (Sperling & Freedman, 2001) Flower (1994) proposes these processes, along with cultural influences, function to construct a discourse that acts as a means by which writers make meaning of experiences. Research related to the reading lives of teachers (Routman, 2003; Rummel & Quintero, 1997; Scott, 1996)Routman Elbows (2003) description of genre as a way to generate or invent content rather than as a mold to pour unformed raw writing into (p. 73)Elbows Individuals develop writing identities that fit the academic community in which each participates (Ivanic, 1998)Ivanic

8 IRA 2007 Overview of Study Five instructors followed 67 pre-service teachers Sequence of three required literacy courses over three consecutive semesters –EDUC284: Development of Language and Literacy –EDUC235: Reading and Literacy I –EDUC236: Reading and Literacy II

9 IRA 2007 Design of Study Self-study of the sequence of literacy courses and instruction Collaborative model among the literacy faculty Multi-method of data collection and analyses

10 IRA 2007 Writing Assignments * Writing assignments counted as data. CourseEDUC 284EDUC 235EDUC 236 Technical Lesson Plan Case Study*IRI Report Reflective Journals*Field Experience*DL-TA Reflection Mini-lesson*GRLP Reflection Read to Feed Reflection* Poetry Reflection* Creative Poetry Poetry Pre- and Post-Survey*

11 IRA 2007 Assessment Instruments Pre- and Post-Survey – open-ended responsePre- and Post-Survey Technical Writing Rubric Reflective Writing Rubric Creative Writing Rubric –Pre- and Post-Poetry Interest SurveyPre-Post-Poetry Interest Survey Pre- and Post-Writer Self-Perception Scale Bottomley, D. M., Henk, W. A., & Melnick, S. A. (1997/1998). Assessing childrens views about themselves as writers using the Writer Self-Perception Scale. The Reading Teacher, 51, 286-296. Cited in McLaughlin, M. & Allen, M. B. (2002). Guided Comprehension: A Teaching Model for Grades 3-8. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

12 IRA 2007 Data Collection Timeline Spring 06Fall 07Spring 07 Q1 Rubrics Q2 Pre-Survey Pre-Writer Self- Perception Scale Post-Survey Post-Writer Self-Perception Scale Pre- and Post-Poetry Interest Survey Q3 Pre-Survey Pre-Writer Self- Perception Scale Rubrics Post-Survey Post-Writer Self-Perception Scale Pre- and Post-Poetry Interest Survey Rubrics

13 IRA 2007 Pre-service Teachers as Technical Writers The components of technical writing in education: using professional language; portraying an unbiased objectivity and sensitivity to content; writing for a purpose to a particular audience; following certain specific formats; being concise and clear; and reflecting the curriculum.

14 IRA 2007 Preliminary Results –TW1 Organization was strong. Case Study Writing FrameCase Study Writing Frame Level of discourse indicated pre-service teachers were using but sometimes misusing or abusing educational terms they had learned in class. During the PALS Picture Hunt, Amber demonstrated [a certain degree of clarity in her work and language development] when drawing a comprehension reading picture of what she understood from the story.

15 IRA 2007 Preliminary Results –TW2 Voice indicated some gaps in ability to anticipate their readers (colleagues, families, administrators) needs and sensitivities. He [Kenny] did not give any details about the story nor did he communicate his ideas clearly. Kenny needs to explain himself better. He only communicated the gist of the idea. He used one sentence to communicate the main idea. He did not give a detailed retell.

16 IRA 2007 Preliminary Results –TW3 Pre-service teachers showed emerging ability to reflect on assessment results to inform instruction. With guided help, Chrissy labels her drawings with words.

17 IRA 2007 Pre-service Teachers as Reflective Writers The components of reflective writing in education: Text to self: Maintaining a strong I voice when responding; Using meta-cognitive understanding; Demonstrating analysis, synthesis, and evaluation; and Text to text, text to world: Basing insight upon course content and real world experience.

18 IRA 2007 Preliminary Results – RW1 I voice correlated strongly to pre-service teachers level of participation and teacher-direction within the required criteria of the specific assignment. Strong (I voice): Personally, I think that the read aloud lesson I presented to the sixth grade went very smoothly. One of the major reasons that this lesson flowed so smoothly was due to the input and constructive criticism I received in my peer group. (Field Experience) Strong (I voice): I think I introduced the topic well by explaining the basic rule. I thought it was successful because everyone was able to see the correct subject-verb agreement. Then I found it helpful if we matched the sentence to the rule to reinforce the topic. (Mini Lesson) Weak (Passive): Literacy is a powerful tool for any learner to acquire. Similar to the idea of self-sufficiency for the girl in Beatrices Goat, literacy can be used to become a self-sufficient learner. If you can read, you have access to a world of information. (Read to Feed)

19 IRA 2007 Preliminary Results – RW2 Level of pre-service teachers discourse was influenced by the relevance and connections to the specific coursework. Demonstrations, application, and both peer and instructor feedback helped to develop pre-service teachers reflections. Strong: This field experience observation provided the opportunity to see how written lesson plans can be implemented in a real classroom; a unique experience for students studying to become educational professionals. The numerous ways in which literacy components play a role in the classroom were evident and seen in action. Observing classroom activities affords future educators the opportunity to witness students successes and failures and assists in assessing the most effective way to achieve student comprehension. (Field Experience) Weak: After being in Ms. XXXXs sixth grade classroom for a good amount of time, I am certain I want to become a teacher. Her classroom gave me many ideas of what my classroom should look like. I think that using the tools of the story analysis chart and the book box really helps the children comprehend the story. I think that in future lessons I will always try to incorporate some kind of learning aid in order to benefit the students. (Field Experience)

20 IRA 2007 Preliminary Results – RW3 Pre-service teachers showed a range of meta-cognitive understanding in regards to their observations and performance as they impact student learning. Strong: After this lesson, I realize how useful and engaging a book box could be. Not only does it prompt prior knowledge when used, it allows for increased comprehension and clarification of main ideas even after a reading. Before a read aloud, going over the object in the book box allows students to get a feel for the vocabulary linked to the text. After the story was read, students placed each object in chronological order as they appeared in the story. This allowed them to develop a clear picture as to what the story was about. (Field Experience) Weak: My book box enhanced the childrens understanding of the text because they knew to focus on each item. It also enhanced comprehension because students enjoyed the hands-on activity; they liked that they were able to touch the items. (Field Experience)

21 IRA 2007 Additional Examples: Strong : The most successful part of the lesson was the teacher supervised practice. The students were working in pairs, reading through books and looking for examples of capitalization. This seemed to be very effective. They were able to pick out examples and identify which rule went with it. I also think this part of the lesson was successful because they were in groups and this gave them confidence to explore the topic. (Mini Lesson) Weak: To improve this mini lesson, I would break it up into a series of mini lessons. (Mini Lesson) Strong: The old axiom Give a man a fish, feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, feed him for the rest of his life I feel explains the entire concept behind Read to Feed. By providing people with an animal in lesser developed countries, not only will it provide a means of both economic and bodily sustenance, but it will also provide a strong sense of pride and self-worth as well. (Read to Feed) Weak: The Read to Feed project buys an animal for a family to use for a variety of resources. We buy our food in the grocery store and do not make our clothes out of our animals fur, but I do respect those that do live that way. (Read to Feed)

22 IRA 2007 Pre-service Teachers as Creative Writers The components of creative writing in the poetry unit (Cinquain, Haiku, and Free Verse): Use of vivid, detailed images and/or intensely felt emotion; Well focused and interests reader throughout, strong continuity and rhythm; Precise, original, fresh words. Creates vivid images; Effective, logical, follows rules; and Effectively presented in an original manner which supports deliverance and interpretation.

23 IRA 2007 Preliminary Results –CW1 Based on the statistical analyses of the pre- and post-poetry interest survey, pre-service teachers interest increased significantly; this includes their confidence and recognition of the value of using poetry in the classroom. Subject 45: Pre: In school I was hardly ever instructed to write/read poetry, therefore I do not understand most forms of poetry, and I am not good at writing poetry. (0,0,2,1,3) Post: I like to write poetry, but I still do not understand a lot of poetry written long ago. Poetry is very important in the classroom. (4, 1, 4, 4, 13) Subject 40: Post: I always liked to write poetry, but I never thought I was good at it. Now I realize its not as difficult as I thought. (2, 3, 4, 2, 11; 4, 4,5,4, 17) Subject 41: Post: These lessons formally introduced specific poems that I had never learned in a classroom setting. Now that I am aware of the various kinds, I am eager to teach poetry in the classroom. (0, 0, 3, 1, 4; 3, 3, 4, 3, 13)

24 IRA 2007 Preliminary Results –CW2 Pre-service teachers strengths include using sensory images in Cinquain, Haiku, and Free Verse poems. Examples: CQ, HK, FVCQHKFV Students comments.

25 IRA 2007 Preliminary Results –CW3 Pre-service teachers areas needing improvement include word choice, especially in Cinquain and Haiku poems. Example: Bright yellow petals With a very long green stem Flashback to summer

26 IRA 2007 Writer Self-Perception Scale General Progress (GPR) –Writing is easier for me than it used to be. Specific Progress (SPR) –The words I use in my writing are better than the ones I used before. Observational Comparison (OC) –I write better than other kids in my class. Social Feedback (SF) –People in my family think I am a good writer. Physiological States (PS) –I like how writing makes me feel inside.

27 IRA 2007 Preliminary Findings Regarding Self-Perception Scales - 1 Pre and Post Self-Perception Scale Descriptive Statistics MeanNS.D.Std. Error M 1General Progress - Pre32.784373.6296.5967 General Progress - Post33.027374.1129.6762 2Specific Progress - Pre27.541373.9341.6468 Specific Progress - Post28.432373.3792.5555 3Obser. Comparison - Pre28.703373.9006.6413 Obser. Comparison - Post29.351373.9806.6544 4Social Feedback - Pre26.568373.6174.5947 Social Feedback - Post27.351373.0388.4996 5Physiological States - Pre19.811375.6117.9226 Physiological States - Post20.297374.7660.7835 Skip Statistical Analyses

28 IRA 2007 Preliminary Findings Regarding Self-Perception Scales - 2 Pre and Post Self-Perception Scale Correlations NCorre.Sig. 1General Progress - Pre & Post37.322.052 2Specific Progress - Pre & Post37.573.000 3Obser. Comparison - Pre & Post37.282.090 4Social Feedback - Pre & Post37.376.022 5Physiological Sts. - Pre & Post37.701.000

29 IRA 2007 Preliminary Findings Regarding Self-Perception Scales - 3 Pre and Post Self-Perception Scale T-Tests Paired Differences MeanStd. Dev.Std. Error Mean 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference LowerUpper tdfSig. (2-tailed) 1General Progress - Pre & Post-.24324.5240.7437 -1.75161.2651-.32736.746 2Specific Progress - Pre & Post-.89193.4139.5612 -2.0301.2464-1.58936.121 3Obser. Comparison - Pre & Post-.64864.7212.7762 -2.2228.9255-.83636.409 4Social Feedback - Pre & Post-.78383.7501.6165 -2.0341.4666-1.27136.212 5Physiological Sts - Pre & Post-.48654.0867.6719 -1.8491.8761-.72436.474

30 IRA 2007 Research Questions - 1 How do pre-service teachers develop as writers? They make meaning of experiences through writing genres. Through their uses of writing genres they focus, nudge, and enhance their: content understanding; meta-cognition; connections; and emotions (aesthetic realm). Their writing processes mature through experiences with these genres. In addition, their teaching identities begin to form as they develop the ability and discourse to: use the language of a teacher; write using a teaching voice; and critically analyze and reflect on their learning and pedagogy.

31 IRA 2007 Research Questions - 2 How do their perceptions of themselves as writers influence their growth as writers? Based on the pre- and post-scale, preliminary results indicate that, over the sequence of the three literacy courses, the pre-service teachers perceived growth in writing especially through: word choice and vocabulary; more descriptive writing; focus and flow; and organization and clarity.

32 IRA 2007 Research Questions - 3 How do they view their progress as technical, creative, and reflective writers through the literacy sequence? We will analyze items 2 and 3 from the pre- and post-surveys, the Writer Self- Perception Scale, and the three rubrics to answer this question.

33 IRA 2007 Implications for Teaching - 1 Teacher educators must: –scaffold writing instruction –provide multiple opportunities for pre-service teachers to practice a particular genre of educational writing –create a forum for them to talk about their writing Layered writing expectations include: –Experience new genres –Incorporate unfamiliar professional vocabulary –Integrate new learning (from course and field)

34 IRA 2007 Implications for Teaching - 2 To promote writing growth, teacher educators must provide experiences and opportunities for pre- service teachers to develop positive attitudes about and competent skills in writing, especially if they do not perceive themselves as writers. provide models discuss the importance of meta-cognition share our writing processes, enjoyment, frustrations, and accomplishments.

35 IRA 2007 Implications for Teaching - 3 Teacher educators should critique through self-study: how they foster pre-service teachers' development as writers in their courses; what layered expectations writing assignments carry; and how to effectively and explicitly teach writing genres as "a way to generate or invent content" (Elbow, 2003, p. 73).

36 IRA 2007 Instructional Recommendations Adherence to a literacy program established by its instructors, reflecting national, state, and local learning standards; Developmental sequence of courses that incorporate layered expectations for writing; Consistent modeling and use of professional language; Collaborative model for instructors and pre- service teachers; and Clear communication among literacy faculty (i.e. regular meetings, email, office proximity).

37 IRA 2007 References Bottomley, D. M., Henk,W. A., & Melnick, S. A. (1997/1998). Assessing childrens views about themselves as writers using the Writer Self-Perception Scale. The Reading Teacher, 51, 286-296. Elbow, P., & Belanoff, P. (2003). Being a writer: A community of writers revisited. Boston: McGraw-Hill. Flower, L. S. (1994). The construction of negotiated meaning: A social cognitive theory of writing. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. Ivanic, R. (1998). Writing and identity: The discoursal constructin of identity in academic writing. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. Routman, R. (2003). Reading essentials: The specifics you need to teach reading well. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. McLaughlin, M., & Allen, M. B. (2002). Guided comprehension: A teaching model for grades 3-8. Newark: DE: International Reading Association. Rummel, M. K., & Quintero, E. (1997). Teachers' reading, teachers' lives. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. Scott, J. (1996). Self-efficacy perspective oon achievement behavior. Educational Psychologist, 19, 195-213. Sperling, M., & Freedman, S. W. (2001). Research on writing. In V. Richardson (Ed.), Handbook of research on teaching (4th ed.). (pp. 370–389).


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