Purpose – The gradual release of responsibility (GRR) framework has long been used as a model to provide explicit and scaffolded literacy instruction (Pearson & Gallagher, 1983), but has seen far less application within the teaching of writing. As such, a framework for further incorporating the GRR model into comprehensive writing instruction is presented.
Design – This chapter describes a recursive writing process that includes four iterative and connected steps: we study, we write, we share, and we react and revise. From direct modeling needed to build efficacy (Bloomberg & Pitchford, 2017), prompting in the “we do it together phase” (Fisher & Frey, 2016), and peer collaboration offering students the opportunity to move from the solve it together to the self-regulated stage of learning, the GRR model of writing supports students as they move recursively between the phases of learning.
Findings – The recursive nature of the GRR model of writing offers scaffolded support calibrated to each student’s phase of learning. The gradual release model of recursive writing provides an opportunity for students and teachers to engage in a feedback cycle and permit teachers to pass the pen to students at an ideal time, often encompassing many opportunities to write, react, and revise with their peers serving as an authentic audience.
Practical implications – Writing proficiency is linked to relationship building and social networks (Swan & Shih, 2005) as well as academic and career success (Cormier, Bulut, McGrew, & Frison, 2016). The GRR model of writing offers a new model of a flexible, social, and recursive writing process needed in professional development and teacher education programs.
Ortlieb, E. and Schatz, S. (2019), "Passing the Pen: A Gradual Release Model of the Recursive Writing Process", McVee, M.B., Ortlieb, E., Reichenberg, J.S. and Pearson, P.D. (Ed.) The Gradual Release of Responsibility in Literacy Research and Practice (Literacy Research, Practice and Evaluation, Vol. 10), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 205-215. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2048-045820190000010013
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