Thursday, November 18, 2010

Topic: Teachers' Responses to Students' Writing

Question: To what degree do teachers respond to students’ ideas in their writing and to mechanics?

Answer: “In responding to student writing, 47% of teachers’ comments focused on mechanical/grammatical skills, while 32% focused on ideas.” LM Rosen, 2983, p. 423.

Comment: I’m surprised that the teachers in this study responded as frequently as they did to ideas. I wonder what they said about those ideas? And I’m surprised that the comments focused on the mechanics fewer times than I expected. The image I usually have of English teachers is that they fill students’ papers with red ink and they’re only concerned about the mechanics.

I’m concerned about what the teachers said about the students’ ideas. If they spent their time agreeing or disagreeing with the students’ ideas, I think that that is unacceptable. If they discussed the effectiveness of the expression of those ideas, I think that is admirable. The problem of the suitability of the students’ ideas is another issue. RayS.

Title: “Annotated Bibliography of Research in the Teaching of English.” RK Durst and JD Marshall. Research in the Teaching of English (December 1984), 417-438.

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