ERIC Number: EJ858724
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 54
In What Ways Do Teacher Education Courses Change Teachers' Self Confidence as Writers?
Street, Chris; Stang, Kristin K.
Teacher Education Quarterly, v36 n3 p75-94 Sum 2009
The National Commission on Writing for America's Families, Schools, and Colleges (2006) specifies that writing-across-the-curriculum programs (including post-secondary coursework) should be well supported. The National Writing Project (NWP) is a group that understands this issue, believing that teachers must be comfortable and confident with writing before they can feel a sense of competence with the teaching of writing (Bratcher & Stroble, 1994). As suggested by the NWP, until teachers know as insiders what writing is like, they will never truly be able to teach their students to write well. With this consideration in mind, every attempt is made to immerse NWP teachers in the role of authors, asking them to experience writing from the inside out. In this study, the authors asked the following questions: (1) What levels of self-confidence did in-service secondary teachers hold regarding writing when they entered their first semester of their graduate programs?; (2) What were the major influences on these levels of self-confidence?; (3) What was the impact of a graduate-level writing course on the secondary teachers' self-confidence as writers? All participants were completing their master's degrees in secondary education at a large urban university in southern California; they were taking this required course in the first semester of their graduate program. A total of 28 students were eligible and willing to participate in the research project. Results suggest that the social nature of learning should be an important consideration when designing professional development workshops or college courses for in-service teachers. This point lies at the heart of the NWP model of professional development and has been recognized as an important consideration by recent writing reports examining models of professional development for writing teachers. The authors agree with Lave and Wenger (1991) that the development of identity is central to the development of teachers as writers. If people want teachers to see themselves as members of both writing and teaching communities, teacher educators would do well to consider issues of biography, self-confidence, and proficiency with writing in their courses. As is evidenced from current research, the writing histories of teachers play an important role in their ability--or inability--to use writing with their students. (Contains 3 tables.)
Descriptors: Required Courses, Writing Across the Curriculum, Education Courses, Urban Universities, Self Esteem, Writing Teachers, Professional Development, Writing Instruction, Teacher Educators, Faculty Development, Graduate Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California