ERIC Number: ED273990
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Effects of Writing on Learning from Text.
Newell, George E.; Carlton, Jeff
A study compared the effects of two writing tasks (short answer exercises and analytic essay writing) with no writing on high school students' understanding of concepts from prose passages. Baseline data on typical patterns of instruction and students' approaches to writing were obtained using observation and case studies in two history classes, one with advanced students, the other with average ability students. Once the sense of context had been established, 22 students from both classes participated in a structured study that included reading history textbook passages and completing writing tasks related to information in the passages, or doing no writing at all. Several learning measures were used, including a measure of concept knowledge. Results from the observational stage indicated that the teachers' intention of implementing writing as learning was co-opted by an academic approach that required certainty and correctness. This approach overlooked students' need to explore new ideas more tentatively, especially for the average ability students. Results from the experimental stage revealed a significant interaction effect for class and writing task at the level of organization of the knowledge measures, with the average ability students imposing more organization on their passage knowledge with essay writing than the advanced ability class. (Author/HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (67th, San Francisco, CA, April 16-20, 1986).