Date of Award:

Summer 7-2017

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Education

Advisor/Chair:

Sylvia Read

Co-Advisor/Chair:

Amy Alexandra Wilson

Third Advisor:

Cindy Jones

Abstract

The Central Utah Writing Project (CUWP) was created in 2009 and, following the National Writing Project's model of professional development, has held a 3- or 4-week summer institute each subsequent year. This training includes collaborative, constructivist, teacher-led training to improve the teaching of writing in schools. Multiple qualitative and quantitative studies have shown the effectiveness of this professional development in the language arts classroom. This multiple-case study of four secondary teachers, whose individual content areas lie outside English or language arts (math, music, science, and social studies), used data from interviews, observations, and artifacts to provide a description of each case and how each teacher has personally and professionally incorporated the training gained from the CUWP. The study also synthesized common themes across the cases. These themes, necessary for professional development included a participant's personal interpretation of the experience (phenomenon) construction of one's own learning, active learning/ participation in the professional development, the inclusion of authentic tasks, collaborative support community, inclusion of prior knowledge and/or experience, self-efficacy regarding one's own writing and the teaching of writing, motivation as a teacher, motivation as a student, scaffolded modeling, teacher expertise in professional development, and the use of writing in the content area. In short, the study investigates how the CUWP summer institute influences the attitudes and classroom writing practices of teachers whose primary content area is not English or language arts. Results showed that only one of the case studies changed their attitudes about writing from neutral to positive. The other three already possessed positive attitudes toward the use of and the teaching of writing in their own classrooms. All four participants changed their classroom practices as a result of participating in the CUWP summer institute and also deemed the results on student performance beneficial. Each of the four constructed a separate takeaway that they implemented in their respective classrooms.

Checksum

16c691e1f2aa354d1f6049b89fb4fa56

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