Teacher perceptions of written expression: Adaptations used in the classroom for struggling writers

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Luedee, Michelle
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Mount Saint Vincent University
This study examined how teachers in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia adapt teaching methods in the writing process to accommodate students who struggle with writing. Self-reported responses focused on feelings of preparedness to teach writing and writing strategies, specific writing adaptations being used, confidence to implement different strategies, and specific challenges encountered from 27 elementary and high school teachers were examined. Teachers were asked to complete a survey indicating specific strategies used to teach the writing process and adaptions used when students display writing difficulties. Teachers were also asked to rate their level of confidence to implement various strategies and concepts and to determine the level of importance for each in their own classroom while teaching the writing process. Teachers were also asked to include demographic information pertaining to gender, teaching experience, educational qualifications, etc. Open-ended responses were analyzed qualitatively to determine common themes among participants. Results indicated that teachers are using evidence-based interventions to teach the writing process and help struggling students. However, the study did not inquire about frequency for each strategy. Most teachers indicated that not enough time was being spent teaching the process of writing. There were a number of strategies where participants indicated a higher level of importance than their confidence to implement the strategy, suggesting that more research is needed to clarify those reasons. Implications for teacher education preparation programs, high school teachers, understanding the increased demands of writing in other subject areas, and future directions are discussed.
Written expression , Teaching methods - writing , Executive function