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ERIC Number: ED363876
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Oct
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Risks and Opportunities of Writing from Personal Experience.
McCarthey, Sarah J.
This paper uses two case studies to explore the risk and opportunities of writing from students' personal experiences. Anthony, a high-achieving, Hispanic fifth-grader, and Anita, a low-achieving, African-American sixth-grader, participated in a writing workshop in which students kept notebooks of their personal experiences and reflections. The two examples provide a means to explore both the risks and opportunities of writing from personal experiences. Anthony's piece reflects some benefits associated with writing from personal experiences, including features such as: (1) authenticity; (2) allowing the writer to develop a voice; (3) potential audience engagement; and (4) the potential therapeutic value. However, Anita's case reveals potential risks, including: unintended consequences from what is revealed; possibilities of limiting students' voice and opportunities to explore other genres; potential cultural conflicts; lack of readiness for some students to reveal emotional issues to peers or the teacher; and a misunderstanding of the role of autobiographical writing in professional authors' work. Implications of the paper suggest that researchers and teachers may need to be cautious about embracing a genre of writing without considering potentially painful outcomes for some students. Nineteen references and appendixes are attached which describe the methods used in the study and present a story and a poem by Anita. (Author/RS)
National Center for Research on Teacher Learning, 116 Erickson Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1034 ($6.94).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Research on Teacher Learning, East Lansing, MI.