Monday, June 18, 2012

A Dysfunctional Student Writer

Question: What are the characteristics of students who are dysfunctional writers?

Answer/Quote: “Clarence found it easy to begin to write out of his own experience, yet revealed that he had difficulty with other kinds of writing. Are pre-writing and planning affected by the writer’s conception of audience and by the level of abstraction of the writing task? Clarence appeared to have little conception of writing for an audience. What conception of audience do most student writers have? Clarence does, in general, very little planning or thinking about his writing. Is this a common condition among school age writers? His writing activity is terse and hurried, a chore to be done with as quickly as possible. Is this behavior also common? Is Clarence’s lack of interest, and the little importance he attaches to writing, felt among many student writers? Is the dysfunctional writing instruction he has experienced to blame? How more effectively can language, especially written language, be made relevant, personal experience for students like Clarence?” p. 314.

Comment: I think there are many “Clarences” out there with regard to writing. If I’m right, the author is asking some very interesting questions about our instruction in writing. RayS.

Title: “A Case Study of a Twelfth-Grade Writer.” Terry Mischel. Research in the Teaching of English (Winter 1974), 303-314.

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