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ERIC Number: ED549668
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 252
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2673-0445-2
The Right to Write: Novice English Teachers Write to Explore Their Identities in a Writing Community
Powell, Mary G.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Arizona State University
This research studies the effects of a writing community on three novice, middle school, Title I language arts teachers' perceptions of themselves as educators and as writers. The participants wrote on topics of their selection, on a bi-monthly basis, for one semester, to explore their teaching and learning. The teachers are in their first five years of instruction and work in Title I, urban schools with ethnically diverse students. All participants are National Writing Project fellows. The researcher analyzed teachers' journals, narratives, conversations, interviews and pre-surveys to collapse and code the research into themes. Findings suggest that teachers need time and support to write during the school day if they are going to write. They also need a supportive, honest, and friendly audience, the writing community, to feel like writers. Findings generated have implications for teacher preparation programs. The participant, who was not an education major, in her undergraduate program, is the only teacher who feels confident in her writing abilities which she connects to her experience in writing and presenting her work as an English and women's studies major. More teacher education programs should offer more writing courses so that preservice teachers become comfortable with the art of composition. Universities and colleges must foster the identities of both instructor and writer in preservice language arts teachers so that they become more confident in their writing and, in turn, their writing instruction. It may be implausible for novice teachers to be effective writing instructors, and educate their students on effective writing strategies, if they do not feel confident in their writing abilities. Although writing researchers may posit that English teachers act as gatekeepers by withholding writing practices from their students (Early and DeCosta-Smith, 2011), this study suggests that English teachers may not have these writing skills because they do not write and or participate in a writing community. When preservice English teachers are not afforded authentic writing opportunities, they graduate from their teacher education programs without confidence as writers. Once ELA teachers transition into their careers they are, again, not afforded the opportunity to write. In turn, it is difficult for them to teach writing to their students, particularly low-income, minority students who may need additional support from their teachers with composition. K-12 teachers need the time and space to write for themselves, on topics of their selection, during the school day, and then, must be trained on how to use their writing as a model to coach their students. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A