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Presentation on multigenre digital writing with preservice teachers

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  1. 1. Preservice Teachers’ Learning About Writing Instruction Through the Multigenre Digital Inquiry Project Dr. Amy Piotrowski - Utah State University Dr. Marla Robertson - Utah State University
  2. 2. The Issue How to engage preservice teachers in authentic inquiry about writing instruction and to get preservice teachers writing? One must be a writer in order to be a teacher of writing!
  3. 3. Literature ● Inquiry (Wells, 1994; Wilhelm, 2007) ● Multigenre writing in real world genres (Allen, 2001: Duke, Caughlan, Juzwik, & Martin, 2012; Romano, 2013; Wickstrom, 2013) ● Using technology that may be useful in future classrooms (Kist, 2009; Mishra & Koehler, 2006) ● Write and create in a broad study of real world genres that are more hybrid and multimodal (Bezemer & Kress, 2016; Prain & Hand, 2016; Richardson, 2010) ● Teacher self-reflection (Schon, 1995)
  4. 4. Research Questions ● How do preservice teachers participate in a multigenre inquiry project? ● How do preservice teachers choose to represent their learning from their inquiry? ● How do preservice teachers reflect on their learning from their participation in the multigenre digital inquiry project? ● How does participation in the multigenre digital inquiry project influence preservice teachers’ knowledge and beliefs about writing instruction?
  5. 5. The Project ● Writing courses (elementary and secondary) – focus on writing instruction and being a writer ● Interactive Video Conference (IVC) courses with students in many locations around the state - some sites with one student, others with up to seven ● Multigenre Digital Inquiry Project was the final project for the courses ● Preservice teachers participated in the study - S17, S18
  6. 6. The Project ● Choice of inquiry topic about teaching writing ● Minimum of 8 resources ○ 2 could be from internet ○ 2 could be chapters from previous readings from the semester ○ the remainder from databases – peer-reviewed journal articles (The Reading Teacher, Language Arts, Voices From the Middle, English Journal, etc.)
  7. 7. Data Sources ● Pre- and post open-ended survey questionnaire (reflections related to the project) ● Brainstorming assignment as part of preliminary work to determine inquiry question ● Annotated bibliographies from resources relating to the inquiry project ● Website created for the project including Dear Reader letter, essay, 2 substantial pieces and 3 shorter pieces of writing – including memos for each piece
  8. 8. Data Analysis ● Constant comparative method ● Explores how the nature of the project influenced pre-service teacher’s ○ beliefs about writing ○ knowledge of writing pedagogy ○ writing in specific genres ○ use of technology
  9. 9. Model Website
  10. 10. Student MDIP Topics ● Students chose a topic related to writing instruction. ● Of the 23 participants, only a few had similar topics: teaching writing with ELLs(2), writing creatively(2), and writing and spelling(2). ● Other topics: writing and music, writing with technology, writing across the curriculum, writing in science, writing daily, writing poetry, 1 st grade writing, math and writing connections, writing for real purposes and audiences, maintaining culture in ESL writing, how to teach writing in kindergarten, writing with voice, getting students to care about writing, how to teach writing to students with disabilities, writing and personalized learning, and getting students engaged in writing.
  11. 11. Genres Written There were five choice genres in this project per person: substantial pieces and shorter pieces. These were written in 45 different genres. Many were created using technology; some were handwritten or hand drawn.
  12. 12. Example Writing
  13. 13. Findings ● Participants found constructive criticism to be helpful - feedback that pointed out what their reader liked about their website as well as things that could be improved or clarified. Important to also have opportunity to then go and revise and edit piece in order to actually use the feedback. ● Participants liked getting to workshop their project with their peers and appreciated opportunities to “bounce ideas” around with others.
  14. 14. Findings ● Participants said that seeing other projects as examples and models of different genres was helpful.
  15. 15. Findings ● When asked about how they planned to respond to their own students’ writing, participants said many of the same things that they found to be helpful responses to their own writing: honest, constructive feedback that builds writers’ confidence while providing areas for improvement. ● “Learning how to set expectations for my future students has allowed me to set expectations for myself in writing.”
  16. 16. Findings ● Participants acknowledged the power teachers have over their students and the impact their work has to encourage or discourage students. ● Teaching is an incredible responsibility!
  17. 17. Findings ● Through this project, participants saw the value of having a real audience and purpose for writing, getting students passionate about writing, providing students’ choices in what and how they write, and how writing is a means of creativity and exploration of ideas. ● “I believe that all teachers should try to bring authenticity to writing instruction for all grades.” ● “Students should not be given cookie cutter writing prompts.”
  18. 18. Findings ● Participants realized how there are many different genres and ways to write. ● Participants found writing in different genres was a challenge, but that it enabled possibilities for their writing that only writing a standard essay couldn’t.
  19. 19. Findings ● The project “opened my eyes to just how varied you can allowed me to be creative and choose exactly how I wanted to show my work.” ● Different genres conveyed different ideas from their research: “Every genre had a little different insight from my research than the other one.”
  20. 20. Conclusions ● Writing (and writing instruction)can be authentic and enjoyable! ● Writing instruction can go beyond the standard essay. ● The MDIP opened preservice teachers to new kinds of writing and to the vital importance of good writing instruction for all students.
  21. 21. Questions? ● Dr. Amy Piotrowski ○ Email: ○ Twitter: @piotrowskiamy ○ Website: ● Dr. Marla Robertson ○ Email: