Date of Award:

10-22-2012

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

School of Teacher Education and Leadership

Advisor/Chair:

Sylvia Read

Abstract

Framed in theories of pragmatism, self-efficacy, and ecology, this design-based research study attempted to make explicit connections between theory and field-based research. The pedagogical goal of this study was to expose in-service teachers to a scaffolded model of professional development for writing (IMSCI) that could be implemented in their own teaching. This model of professional development also served to place research participants in a professional learning community. Teachers worked in focus groups made of another teacher in their own discipline, and a collective focus group, and worked through the steps of the scaffolded model in consideration of their own writing instruction in an effort to increase their self-efficacy, while also experiencing a participatory approach to instruction that in turn improved their ability to enact this instruction in their own classrooms. The data, which included focus group interviews, blog posts by the teachers, and member checking, were analyzed using constant comparative methods. The analyses indicated that the majority of these content teachers had not experienced effective writing instruction models as students and did not learn how to teach writing in their preservice teaching programs. Additionally, their professional learning experiences as inservice teachers had not given them the tools they needed to overcome ecological factors that stopped them from teaching writing. Teachers' responses about their experience with the IMSCI model indicate that it has the potential to help teachers understand what effective writing instruction looks like, how to implement it in their own classrooms, and to increase their perceived self-efficacy as teachers of writing.

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