Using Writing-To-Learn Strategies: Promoting Peer Collaboration Among High School Science Teachers
Lawwill, Kenneth Stuart
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Writing-to-learn strategies have been well documented in the promotion of student learning (Poirrier, 1997c). Less is known about how teachers come to use these strategies in every day instruction. This study is a description of the experiences of one science teacher at a large suburban high school who shared writing-to-learn strategies with his department to promote the use of these strategies in daily instruction of his colleagues. The strategies involved 1) improving reading comprehension using paraphrasing, 2) activating prior knowledge using generic questions: who, what, where, when, why, & how, and 3) writing before and after other classroom activities to activate prior knowledge and then better integrate new information. The strategies were shared during informal meetings at lunch. Participation was voluntary. Of the eighteen faculty members, four chose to implement the strategies on a longer-term basis. Follow-up analysis in subsequent years, showed that the strategies were still in use and that the colleagues who used the strategies had passed them on to newly inducted members of the department. Results were discussed with regards to how teachers acquire or decline the incorporation of new teaching ideas in the normal course of their work in collegial settings.
- Doctoral Dissertations