ERIC Number: ED217414
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
Writers Training Writers--Models for Their Students and Their Peers.
Nelson, Marie Wilson
A naturalistic-design study compared the practices of "writer-teachers" (expert practitioners) who employ methods rooted in experience with traditional "teacher writers." Eight subjects were chosen from a group of 23 writers who teach below the college level. One quarter of classroom observation and taping produced an in-depth study of two expert practitioners and one traditional teacher, chosen for contrast. Results indicate that teacher-writers suffer from professional schizophrenia when traditional wisdom overrides intuitive knowledge. These teachers adopt an English Instructional Model that has three variations--The Little Professor, Traditional, or Innovative; but because these models are unrelated to how people actually write, few students improve and teachers become frustrated. If, however, the perceived risks are small enough, teachers can evolve into expert practictioners, as did one subject of the in-depth study. Expert practitioners soon discover five facts: (1) all students can learn to write; (2) learning to write occurs naturally; (3) serious attitudes and practice writing are essential; (4) writing classes must shelter writers; and (5) writers must be willing to look honestly at themselves. Although implementation will not be easy, this study indicates that the expert practitioner model is valid for both teachers and students. (JL)
Descriptors: Authors, Creative Teaching, Experimental Teaching, Poets, Role Models, Secondary Education, Student Teacher Relationship, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Background, Teacher Behavior, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Improvement, Teacher Influence, Teacher Role, Teaching Methods, Teaching Models, Teaching Styles, Writing Instruction
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Research prepared at the University of Georgia. Figures may not reproduce.