THE IMPACT OF A WORKSHOP APPROACH ON THE PROCESS OF COMPOSING EXPOSITORY WRITING FOR TWELFTH GRADE INNER CITY COLLEGE-BOUND STUDENTS

BEATRICE SHARPLESS MOORE, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to describe two instructional approaches--workshop and teacher-directed--to determine which was more effective on the process of composing expository writing. The study used pretest/posttest measures and participant observational data. Researcher/participant observer recorded 40 visits (20 with each group) in an in-depth description of writing skills taught, teacher behaviors, student behaviors.^ Forty 12th grade urban college-bound seniors--20 in each group--experienced prewriting, drafting, revision, editing. Nine factors were identified in the analysis of the two approaches: class organization, audience, nature of writing in stages, prewriting ideas, preteaching skills, teacher feedback, peer feedback/peer editing, nature of interaction, evaluation.^ During the 10-week study, subjects wrote 4 expository papers: process, cause/effect, comparison/contrast, definition. Two experienced teachers (trained as raters) scored pretest/posttest samples using the General Impression Marking System on a scale of 1 to 6. Statistical data revealed: pretest mean of 6.4, posttest mean of 6.3 for Workshop Group; pretest mean of 6.85, posttest mean of 6.27 for Teacher-Directed Group.^ Conclusions of the study indicate that the workshop approach had no significant effect on the composing process of students and writing did not reflect significant changes as a result of their having anticipated in the workshop. Certain major factors seemed to account for negative results of the study: the students' unfamiliarity with process-oriented writing, the students' reluctance to work in groups, the teacher's unfamiliarity with process-oriented writing, the teacher's lack of effective management skills. Students' lack of self-discipline and their irregular attendance also seemed to be factors.^ Two positive notes from study: five students who left the program for early admission to college did well on their sample writing and were placed in regular freshman English. They reported to teacher in the study that they attributed their success to having participated in the writing program. Secondly, teachers in the department who followed the study with interest have requested researcher/department head to conduct a workshop on process orientation and collaborative learning for them.^

Subject Area

Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

BEATRICE SHARPLESS MOORE, "THE IMPACT OF A WORKSHOP APPROACH ON THE PROCESS OF COMPOSING EXPOSITORY WRITING FOR TWELFTH GRADE INNER CITY COLLEGE-BOUND STUDENTS" (January 1, 1983). Dissertations available from ProQuest. Paper AAI8318170.
http://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI8318170

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