National Writing Project

Alabama Secondary School English Teachers' National Writing Project Participation and Writing in Relation to Their Organization of the Classroom and to Student Achievement in Writing

By: Alyson Whyte
Date: September 1, 2011

Summary: This study of 32 Alabama public secondary school English teachers and of 477 students in these teachers' classes demonstrated that NWP teachers wrote more extensively than comparison teachers.Also, teachers' higher level of ongoing involvement in NWP professional development activities predicted their students' achievement on nonroutine attributes of writing.

 

Excerpt from Report

The analysis of how a teacher's own writing life may affect his/her writing instruction and, in turn, the students' writing achievement was based on the premise that NWP teachers engage in the acts of writing and of teaching writing as complementary endeavors. Not surprisingly, the NWP teachers in this study wrote more extensively than the comparison teachers, and TCs' reported writing lives were associated with their students' achievement in writing. NWP teachers who wrote extensively had classes of students whose achievement in writing improved significantly on holistic score for the quality of writing and on the dimensions of writing including ideas/content development, structure, voice, sentence fluency, and word choice. Students in classrooms with comparison teachers who wrote less did not experience these same gains in writing achievement. These findings are consistent with the NWP's assertion that teachers' own writing is essential to the professional development of teachers of writing.

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