ERIC Number: EJ862821
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
Writing Marathons Help Build Middle School Students' College Aspirations and Strengthen Their Literacy Skills
Radcliffe, Rich A.; Stephens, Liz C.
Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, v83 n1 p20-25 2010
Young adolescents' low scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) force the question of whether these students will be ready for college in four years. Our efforts to build a college-going culture emphasize strengthening students' writing skills by using preservice teachers to lead writing marathons for at-risk middle school students on university visits. Structured interviews, surveys, and written reflections reveal that what students write about changes with age, their motivation to write varies, and their college aspirations and perceptions become more positive after completing several annual writing marathons on a college campus. The writing marathon structure makes the college visit truly meaningful to students, and it provides a compelling incentive to write by supporting characteristics of middle school students, as defined by the National Middle School Association (National Middle School Association [NMSA] 2003). The marathon model focuses on four key elements: setting, timing, small groups, and writers' level of commitment.
Descriptors: School Readiness, Higher Education, Educational Innovation, Middle School Students, Field Trips, College Environment, Early Adolescents, Low Achievement, Writing Skills, National Competency Tests, Preservice Teachers, Longitudinal Studies, Academic Aspiration, Age Differences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A