Writing Instruction or Destruction: Lessons to be Learned from Fourth-Grade Teachers’ Perspectives on Teaching Writing

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The purpose of this study was to examine fourth-grade teachers’ self-assessments of their perceptions about writing development and writing instruction. The authors surveyed fourth-grade teachers within one large school district in the Southeastern United States. Utilizing quantitative and qualitative methodologies, they analyzed the teachers’ self-assessments of their instructional practices with regard to writing. They found that the teachers revealed a wide range of statements about writing instruction with fluctuating perspectives about how writing develops. In addition, there was evidence that the state curriculum and the writing test dictated the teachers’instructional practice. As a result, many teachers revealed discrepancies between their perspectives about writing development and their instructional practices. The authors suggest there are lessons to be learned for all teacher educators from this scenario.

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Journal of Teacher Education, v. 53, issue 4, p. 328-341