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Layingthe Foundation    Lily 2006
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Layingthe Foundation Lily 2006

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  • 1. Laying the Foundation Teacher Preparation Programs and the Teaching of Writing Inquiry Project Synopsis Lily N. WMWP Summer Institute 2006
  • 2. How are teacher preparation programs preparing our nation’s teachers for the complex realities of teaching writing?
        • Despite a rigorous college experience, I felt
        • drastically unprepared
            • My experience with student teachers and
            • others in the field
            • So what exactly is happening in teacher preparation programs?
  • 3. Lack of proper preparation often highlighted by teachers
        • Student results as testimonial to this problem
        • Researchers (Bowie) say student writing not improving
            • A national embarrassment
            • 1992 National Assessment of Educational Progress:
            • Majority of high school juniors unable to produce adequate persuasive or analytic essay
  • 4. Student problems frequently attributed to inadequate teacher preparation
    • Bowie: “Few teacher education programs offer specific courses on how to teach writing”
    • Meyer:
            • 8 th grade writing lags far behind research and theory
            • Teacher preparation focused on literature
            • Teacher enthusiasm and strategies revolve around literature
            • “ Who can blame them, given the training we’ve given them?”
  • 5. A Closer Look at Teacher Preparation Programs
    • Study by Bowie:
        • 233 Teachers surveyed, from undergrad. And grad programs
        • Rated preservice writing training on scale of 0 (poor) to 3 (excellent)
        • Teachers gave undergrad program mean rating of 1
        • Grad programs received mean rating of 0.8
    “ The literature indicates that teachers do not feel prepared to teach writing.”
  • 6.
    • Study by Grossman, et al
        • Followed teachers through training, student teaching, and first year
            • About half “entered student teaching with relatively few strategies for teaching writing”
            • Others “firmly believed [their] teacher education coursework had provided [them] with many good ideas for teaching writing”
    Overall, researchers concluded preparation programs need to offer strategies for predictable dilemmas in teaching writing
  • 7. So what do Writing Project Teachers Say?
    • I’ve spoken to several of you on this topic
    • The majority have concurred that they did not feel adequately prepared, from both undergrad. and grad. programs
        • Many were not given explicit instruction in teaching writing
    • Some, however, did feel prepared and were given explicit instruction in the teaching of writing
  • 8. Conclusions and Continued Study
    • Overall, data varies--overwhelming majority points to poor preparation for teaching writing
    • Clearly teacher preparation programs need improvement, many must improve
    • Plan of Continued Study:
        • Investigate local universities and colleges, their preparation programs
        • Interviews with teachers to gauge their sense of preparedness
        • Possible focus on high school level, including demands of writing across curriculum and preparation for that
  • 9. Works Cited
    • 1. Bowie, Robert L. “Future Teachers Perceptions of Themselves as Writers and Teachers of Writing: Implications for Teacher Education Programs.” Paper for Annual Meeting of College Reading Association. Charlestown, SC. 1992.
    • 2. Grossman, Pamela, Sheila W. Valencia, Kate Evans, Clarissa
    • Thompson. “Transitions into Teaching: Learning to Teach Writing in Teacher Education and Beyond.” Journal of Literacy Research. Chicago, IL. December 2000.
    • 3. Lesser, Felice. Personal Interview. Amherst, MA. July 2006.
    • 4. Meyer, Jim. “’It’s a Lot of Hectic in Middle School’ : Student-Teaching in an Urban Classroom.” The English Journal. NCTE. May, 1999.