Layingthe Foundation Lily 2006Presentation Transcript
Laying the Foundation Teacher Preparation Programs and the Teaching of Writing Inquiry Project Synopsis Lily N. WMWP Summer Institute 2006
How are teacher preparation programs preparing our nation’s teachers for the complex realities of teaching writing?
Despite a rigorous college experience, I felt
My experience with student teachers and
others in the field
So what exactly is happening in teacher preparation programs?
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
Student problems frequently attributed to inadequate teacher preparation
Bowie: “Few teacher education programs offer specific courses on how to teach writing”
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?”
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.”
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
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
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
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.