NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED548836
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 308
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2677-6162-0
Teaching to the Task: Preservice Teachers' Instruction for Cognitively Demanding Writing Tasks
Benko, Susanna Latham
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
In this study, I examine the instruction of four preservice English teachers (PSTs) for cognitively demanding literature-based writing tasks in order to investigate the types of tasks that PSTs identify as cognitively demanding, how PSTs' instruction for such tasks maintains or degrades the task's intellectual rigor, and possible influences and/or constraints during instruction. Data drew from a) classroom observations of instruction that began at the task's introduction and continued until the students completed the assignment; b) interviews conducted before the task was handed out, after every classroom observation, and after the final task was completed; and c) classroom artifacts such as the tasks, handouts, and other materials used by teachers. Data analysis focused on understanding the teachers' instructional moves and searching for alignment, or in some cases, misalignment, of this instruction with the demands of the writing task. Findings from this study suggest that even though all of the study's PSTs demonstrated a high understanding of "cognitive demand" for writing tasks, they presented tasks of varying levels of cognitive demand during their instruction. Additionally, while all PSTs designed task specific instruction, there was a wide range in the types of instruction provided to support student thinking or student writing. While some of the PSTs' instruction aligned with recommended best practices in writing instruction (e.g., modeling, use of writer's workshop), it was unclear how such instruction was supporting students to think about the text in relationship to the task and to write in response to the task. Findings from this study suggest that PSTs need the opportunity to closely study writing tasks in order to understand a task's intellectual work and design instruction to appropriately prepare students to write in response to cognitively demanding literature based writing tasks. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A