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Article
Publication date: 19 July 2019

Amber Jensen

This paper aims to recommend that English educators engage preservice teachers (PSTs) in thinking and acting agentively in twenty-first century writing instruction by…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to recommend that English educators engage preservice teachers (PSTs) in thinking and acting agentively in twenty-first century writing instruction by prompting them to examine and (re)construct discourses around identity, beliefs and teaching contexts. It explores metacognitive interventions that supported one PST to assume agency to implement twenty-first century writing pedagogies that challenged institutional and curricular norms.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study design was used to explore how one PST enacted agency in teaching twenty-first century writing during student teaching. Data were collected from five stimulated recall interviews that prompted metacognition over a four-month internship semester. Emerging themes were analyzed using content analysis.

Findings

During interviews, the PST constructed narratives about herself, her beliefs and her teaching context in ways that catalyzed her agency to enact twenty-first century writing pedagogies in planning for instruction, framing learning with her students and negotiating with her colleagues. The PST perceived metacognitive intervention as a supportive framework for activating her agency to both “see” and “sell” (Nowacek, 2011) possibilities for implementing twenty-first century writing instruction in her first teaching context.

Originality/value

While most existing literature on teacher agency focuses on practicing teachers, this paper focuses on activating agency during teacher preparation. It draws upon theories of regulative discourse (Mills, 2015), transfer (Nowacek, 2011) and metacognition as constructs for agency to identify how English educators can prepare PSTs as agents for change.

Details

English Teaching: Practice & Critique, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1175-8708

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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2017

Sara Maurice Whitver

Library literature is filled with studies that lament the challenges of the faculty–librarian relationship. While many examples of productive collaborations can be found…

Abstract

Purpose

Library literature is filled with studies that lament the challenges of the faculty–librarian relationship. While many examples of productive collaborations can be found in recent literature, librarians still find it challenging on the local level to reshape old perceptions of the role of the librarian. This purpose of this paper is to suggest that by building relationships with graduate student teachers during their first semester of teaching, many of those challenges can be reversed.

Design/methodology/approach

The author describes her work with a writing program teaching practicum, a 1-h course for graduate students in the department of English who are engaged in teaching for the first time.

Findings

This paper offers a model for building collaborative relationships with graduate students who are first-time teachers of writing to support the development of information literacy in their teaching practices. Using the community-building principles of Writing Across the Disciplines and the collaboration initiatives referenced in writing program literature, librarians can establish peer relationships with first-time teachers, which can have long-lasting effects on faculty–librarian relationships, as those teachers continue to teach throughout their career.

Originality/value

Many articles exist that talk about faculty–librarian collaborations, but virtually none have explored the role of librarian collaborations with first-time teachers or, by extension, with graduate student teachers in general. This paper offers one model for establishing a productive role for the librarian within first-year writing courses while also empowering first-time teachers to successfully design and implement researched writing assignments.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 45 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 12 August 2021

Wendy R. Williams

English teachers who write have valuable expertise that can benefit students. Although there is a fair amount of research on teacher-writers, little is known about…

Abstract

Purpose

English teachers who write have valuable expertise that can benefit students. Although there is a fair amount of research on teacher-writers, little is known about teachers’ writing lives outside of educational or professional contexts. This paper aims to investigate the writing lives and teaching beliefs of five writing contest winners.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative study, which was guided by sociocultural theory and concepts such as literacy sponsorship, involved individual semi-structured interviews, questionnaires and writing and teaching artifacts.

Findings

Data analysis resulted in several themes describing participants’ writing lives: Writing Experiences, Writing Practices and Writing Attitudes. In addition, several themes emerged describing their teaching beliefs: Writing Assignments/Tools, Modeling and Credibility/Empathy/Vulnerability. Overlaps exist in the descriptions of their writing and teaching lives.

Practical implications

Teachers’ writing lives are valuable resources for instruction. It is recommended that teachers have opportunities to reflect on who they are as writers and what has shaped them. Teachers also need new experiences to expand their writing practices and strengthen their writing identities alongside fellow writers. More must be done to understand, nurture and sustain teachers’ writing.

Originality/value

This research expands the conversation on teachers as writers by involving writing contest winners, focusing on their writing lives and noticing how their writing experiences, practices and attitudes inform their teaching. This study suggests several ways to move forward in supporting teachers as writers, keeping in mind the social aspects of learning.

Details

English Teaching: Practice & Critique, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1175-8708

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Book part
Publication date: 28 April 2021

Erica S. Lembke, Kristen L. McMaster, Nicole McKevett, Jessica Simpson and Seyma Birinci

Many students in the United States struggle to achieve proficiency in writing. Writing is an important skill to develop, as it is a way for students to communicate what…

Abstract

Many students in the United States struggle to achieve proficiency in writing. Writing is an important skill to develop, as it is a way for students to communicate what they know and integrate knowledge and critical thinking skills. A lack of writing proficiency can have a significant impact on academic performance in secondary school and on postsecondary outcomes. Improving writing instruction requires theoretically sound, scientifically validated teaching practices, including assessments and instructional methods. It also requires that teachers are well prepared to implement such practices, including using assessment data to tailor instructional methods to meet the needs of students who experience significant writing difficulties. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of advances in research and practice related to validated teaching practices designed to improve the writing outcomes of students with intensive needs, and to describe an innovative way to prepare and support teachers to implement such practices.

Details

The Next Big Thing in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-749-7

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1995

Dennis Isbell and Dorothy Broaddus

Arizona State University (ASU) West is a new, upper division undergraduate and graduate campus serving western Maricopa County and metropolitan Phoenix. The students are…

Abstract

Arizona State University (ASU) West is a new, upper division undergraduate and graduate campus serving western Maricopa County and metropolitan Phoenix. The students are typically working adults from the community who come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. Most are drawn from the local community colleges, where they complete their first two years of college before entering ASU West.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2019

Maggie Murphy

This paper aims to explore how collaborative research assignment design consultations between instruction librarians and new graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) have the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore how collaborative research assignment design consultations between instruction librarians and new graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) have the potential to improve the design of research assignments for first-year writing courses.

Design/methodology/approach

The author conducted a small number of questionnaires and structured interviews with first-time GTAs who serve as first-year composition instructors to explore their conceptions about teaching researched writing. Thematic analysis of the results of these qualitative instruments led to the design of a new framework for working with incoming cohorts of GTAs at her institution prior to the start of each fall semester.

Findings

New GTAs often emphasize strict source type parameters in research assignment design and expect their students to engage in expert research behaviors. Emphasizing the assignment design expertise of instruction librarians during new GTA orientation may lead to more assignment design consultations with first-time college writing instructors. Collaborative assignment design consultations between librarians and GTAs can improve the alignment of research assignment parameters with their shared goals for students' research and writing skills and habits of mind, including seeing research and writing as iterative and inquiry-based processes.

Research limitations/implications

While not every instruction librarian works with GTAs, working with instructors to collaboratively design research assignments that shift focus away from using specific search tools and locating particular types of sources opens possibilities for what librarians are able to achieve in one-shot instruction sessions, in terms of both lesson content and pedagogical strategies used.

Originality/value

The existing literature on first-year writing addressing faculty and librarian assignment design collaborations, and research assignments more generally, does not often explicitly examine the experiences of librarians who primarily work with GTAs. This paper adds to this literature by highlighting specific obstacles and unique opportunities in librarian–GTA teaching partnerships in first-year writing courses.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 47 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Book part
Publication date: 15 November 2016

Judy M. Parr

Writing performance is an international issue and, while the quality of instruction is key, features of the context shape classroom practice. The issues and solutions in…

Abstract

Purpose

Writing performance is an international issue and, while the quality of instruction is key, features of the context shape classroom practice. The issues and solutions in terms of teacher practice to address underachievement need to be considered within such a context and the purpose of the chapter is to undertake such an analysis.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from five different research projects (national and regional) of the author and colleagues, and two studies of the author’s doctoral students, are synthesized to identify both common and specific elements of primary/elementary (years 1–8, ages 5–13) teacher practice in writing. These data provide an indication of the practices which appear to be the most powerful levers for developing writing and for accelerating student progress in the context in which the teachers work. These practices are discussed.

Findings

The identified practices are: (1) acquiring and applying deep knowledge of your writers; (2) making connections with, and validating, relevant cultural and linguistic funds of knowledge; (3) aligning learning goals in writing with appropriately designed writing tasks and ensuring that students understand what they are learning and why; (4) providing quality feedback; (5) scaffolding self-regulation in writers; (6) differentiating instruction (while maintaining high expectations) and (7) providing targeted and direct instruction at the point of need. A discussion and a description of writing-specific instantiations of these help to illustrate their nature and the overlaps and interconnections.

Practical implications

As much of the data are drawn from the practices of teachers deemed to be highly effective, classroom practices associated with these teachers can be targeted as a means to improve the quality of instruction more widely in the particular context.

Details

Writing Instruction to Support Literacy Success
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-525-6

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Book part
Publication date: 23 January 2017

Jen Scott Curwood, Jayne C. Lammers and Alecia Marie Magnifico

Writers, their practices, and their tools are mediated by the contexts in which they work. In online spaces and classroom environments, today’s writers have increased…

Abstract

Writers, their practices, and their tools are mediated by the contexts in which they work. In online spaces and classroom environments, today’s writers have increased access to collaborators, readers, and reviewers. Drawing on our experiences as English teacher educators and as researchers of digital literacies and online affinity spaces, this chapter offers examples from three English teacher education programs in the United States and Australia to demonstrate how we link our research in out-of-school spaces to literacy practices in school contexts for our pre-service teachers. To do so, we share an illustrative example from each program and consider how in-class activities and assessment tasks can encourage pre-service teachers to learn about: the importance of clear goals and real-world audiences for writers; the value of self-sponsored, interest-driven writing in the English curriculum; and the role of authentic conversations between readers and writers as part of the writing, revising, and publishing process. The chapter concludes with recommendations for class activities and assessments that could be used within English education programs.

Details

Innovations in English Language Arts Teacher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-050-9

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2020

Sarah W. Beck, Karis Jones, Scott Storm, J. Roman Torres, Holly Smith and Meghan Bennett

This study aims to explore and provide empirical evidence for ways that teachers can simultaneously support students’ literary reading and analytic writing through…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore and provide empirical evidence for ways that teachers can simultaneously support students’ literary reading and analytic writing through dialogic assessment, an approach to conferencing with writers that foregrounds process and integrates assessment and instruction.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses qualitative research methods of three high school teachers’ dialogic assessment sessions with individual students to investigate how these teachers both assessed and taught literary reading moves as they observed and supported the students’ writing. An expanded version of Rainey’s (2017) scheme for coding literary reading practices was used.

Findings

The three teachers varied in the range and extent of literary reading practices they taught and supported. The practices that they most commonly modeled or otherwise supported were making claims, seeking patterns and articulating puzzles. The variation we observed in their literary reading practices may be attributed to institutional characteristics of the teachers’ contexts.

Research limitations/implications

This study illustrates how the concept of prolepsis can be productively used as a lens through which to understand teachers’ instructional choices.

Practical implications

The descriptive findings show how individualized coaching of students’ writing about literature can also support literary reading. Teachers of English need not worry that they have to choose between teaching writing and teaching reading.

Originality/value

This study presents dialogic assessment as a useful way to guide students through the writing process and literary interpretation simultaneously.

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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2019

Brandon L. Sams and Mike P. Cook

The purpose of this paper is to examine youth literacy and writing practices in select, contemporary young adult literature (YAL), especially how and why literate activity…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine youth literacy and writing practices in select, contemporary young adult literature (YAL), especially how and why literate activity is sponsored, negotiated or occluded by teachers and schools.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors position young adult fiction as case studies of youth composing in and out of school. Drawing on Stake's (1995) features of case study research in education, the authors present readings of Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero and The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy by Kate Hattemer that highlight particular problems and insights about youth literacy practices that are worth extended examination and reflection.

Findings

Both novels feature youth engaging in powerful literacy and writing practices across a range of modes to critically read and write their worlds. These particular texts – and other YAL featuring youth composing – offer teacher educators and pre-service teachers opportunities for critical reflection on their evolving stances on literacy instruction; identities as writing and literacy educators; and pedagogies that enable robust literate activity.

Originality/value

In the US educational context, teacher education programs are required to provide pre-service teachers numerous opportunities to observe and participate as teachers in public school classrooms. YAL offers a unique setting of experience that can be productively paired with more traditional field placements to complement pre-service writing teacher education. Reading YAL featuring youth composing can serve as a useful occasion of reflection on pedagogies that limit and/or make possible students’ meaningful engagement with words and the world.

Details

English Teaching: Practice & Critique, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1175-8708

Keywords

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