27 SES 06 C, Teaching Reading / Writing at Secondary School
Writing is not only a predictor of the academic success of the students but, ever more, a basic requirement for participation in civic life, and in the global economy along with reading comprehension (Graham & Perin, 2007).
This complex skill is useful for different functions in daily life and it cuts across the whole curriculum. However many students manifest difficulties in writing, either on an elementary or on a higher academic level. Perhaps they needed explicit and systematic training in text composition (Calkins, Hartman & White, 2008) which they did not get, as it is essential effort and time in order to master writing.
Until the seventies, writing was considered a stylistic and literary competence that ensured the quality of written texts (Niza et al., 2011). That is, it was believed that this was not taught to the students but that it was a gift, either they had it or not (Niza et al, 2011; Preto-Bay, 2005).
Also, a few years ago, the Portuguese curriculum focus reading skills as the only factor to improve the literacy. Consequently it has been assumed that if a student is a proficient reader he should also be a proficient writer.
However, in the past few years, the research in this field has advanced significantly, which was due in part to the consciousness, of researchers and educators, of the difficulties experienced by students and corroborated by several national and international studies (GAVE, 2011; GIASE, 2004/2005; Sousa, 2012; Rogers & Graham, 2008). The inevitable paradigm shift in the teaching of writing composition came from pedagogical perspectives based on cognitive and social learning theories (Festas, 2002).
Several studies about the effectiveness of the writing strategies and teaching methods emerged from this context. The Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) is a model of instruction that have been developed since 1982, and whose effectiveness has been demonstrated over three decades of research (Graham, 2008; Graham & Perin, 2007, Harris et al., 2008).
It was designed to help students with learning disabilities, however over the years the researchers found that students who did not manifest these disabilities had similar difficulties in writing. Thus, the SRSD has been successfully applied in the context of the classroom, with small groups, individually and tutorial situation, from the elementary school to higher education (Harris et al., 2012).
The SRSD intends to help students master the cognitive processes involved in planning, composition, revision and edition of writing; to develop the ability to monitor and manage their writing; to contribute to the development of positive attitudes toward writing and themselves as writers.
There are six stages of instruction used to develop and integrate the use of writing and self-regulation strategies: develop background knowledge; discuss it; model it; memorize it; support it; and independent performance (Harris et al., 2008; Harris et al., 2011).
The research that we are going to present, inserted into the PhD project Teaching to write through the Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) (SFRH/BD/84392/2012) aims to adapt some strategies from the SRSD, specifically those related to the planning of the opinion essay, and expository text, in order to verify the effects of the writing and self-regulation strategies in text composition and in academic performance in general of 8th grade students.
Therefore, our research questions are:
- Does the SRSD strategies effective to the improvement of the students' writing skills?
- Are self-regulation strategies beneficial to the learning of text composition?
- The teaching of a text genre has a positive effect on the teaching of other text genres?
- Does the teaching of writing expository texts contribute to improve the students’ academic performance?
Calkins, L., Hartman, A. & White, Z. (2008). Crianças produtoras de texto – A arte de interagir em sala de aula. São Paulo: Artmed. Ferreira, Sara; Prata, Maria; Inácio, Miriam; Sousa, Carla; Festas, Maria Isabel & Oliveira, Albertina Lima (2012). “Ensino de estratégias de escrita em aulas de Língua Portuguesa”, in Escola Superior de Educação e Ciências Sociais – Instituto Politécnico de Leiria, Actas da I Conferência Internacional Investigação, Práticas e Contextos em Educação. Leiria: ESECS - Instituto Politécnico de Leiria, 109-113. Festas, Maria Isabel (2002), “Principais tendências no ensino da escrita de textos”, Psychologica 30, 173-185. GAVE (2011), Provas de Aferição 2º ciclo – Língua Portuguesa. Lisboa: Ministério da Educação. GIASE (2004/2005), Estatísticas da Educação 04/05. Lisboa: Ministério da Educação. Graham, Steve (2008), Effective Writing Instruction for all students. Wisconsin: Renaissance Learning. Graham, S. & Perin, D. (2007). Writing next: Effective strategies to improve writing of adolescents in middle and high school – A report to Carnegie Corporation of New York. Washington: Alliance For Excellent Education. Harris, Karen; Graham, Steve; Manson, Linda & Friedlander, Barbara (2008), Powerful Writing Strategies for all Students. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. Harris, Karen; Lane, Kathleen; Graham, Steve; Driscoll, Steven; Sandmel, Karin; Brindle, Mary & Schatschneider Christopher (2012), “Practice- Based Professional Development for Self-Regulated Strategies Development in Writing: a randomized controlled study”, Journal of Teacher Education, 63 (2), 103-119. Niza, Ivone; Segura, Joaquim; Mota, Irene (2011), Escrita - Guião de Implementação do Programa. Lisboa: ME /DGIDC. Preto-Bay, Ana Maria Raposo (2005), “Alguns aspectos pedagógicos do ensino da escrita: o processo e o género textual”, Revista Portuguesa de Pedagogia, 39 (1), 7-27. Rebelo, José; Ferreira, Sara; Festas, Maria Isabel; Inácio, Miriam; Prata, Maria; Sousa, Carla, & Oliveira, Albertina Lima (2012, May), Teaching Writing Strategies in Portuguese Language Classes Using the Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) Model, Paper presented at the International Couseling and Education Conference (ICEC), Istambul, Turkey. Rogers, Leslie Ann & Graham, Steve (2008), “A meta-analysis of single subject design writing intervention research”, Journal of Educational Psychology, 100, 879–906. Sousa, Hélder Dinis (coord.) (2012), Exames nacionais - Relatório 2011. Lisboa: GAVE. Sousa, Carla; Inácio, Miriam; Ferreira, Sara; Prata, Maria; Festas, Maria & Oliveira, Albertina (2012), “O modelo Self-Regulated Strategy Development no ensino da escrita do ensaio de opinião”, in L. Mata, F. Peixoto, J. Morgado, V. Monteiro, & J. Silva (Eds.), Actas do 12º Colóquio Internacional de Psicologia e Educação. Lisboa, Portugal, 1284-1295.
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