Writing allows access to venues often limited by poverty, disabilities, and geography. Promoting writing skills can create bridges to overcome the isolation that often keeps communities from engaging with one another. However, most of the students in the nation’s schools are not capable writers and find the persuasive genres challenging. In this wait-list quasi-experimental study, 25 teachers from four urban schools were assigned to treatment (n = 11) or control conditions (n = 14). Teachers received practice-based professional development to learn to teach self-regulated strategy development for persuasive writing to their 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students (318 in treatment, 367 in control). Before and after intervention, students wrote to persuasive prompts, which were counterbalanced, and scored for holistic quality, analytic quality, and length. Teachers were observed for fidelity of implementation and focus groups were conducted to assess social validity. Results indicate teachers implemented with adequate, but lower than expected fidelity. Student results indicate SRSD instruction resulted in an increase in writing outcomes above those in the comparison condition, but effect sizes were low (holistic quality ES = 0.15; analytic ES = 0.24; length ES = 0.15). Lower teacher fidelity resulted in more variability in student outcomes. Teachers indicated they found the intervention had a positive effect on students and would use SRSD in the future.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: May 29, 2018
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