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    How can I foster a child-centred approach to the teaching of writing?

    Ellard, Cara (2018) How can I foster a child-centred approach to the teaching of writing? Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    The purpose of this research was to investigate how I could improve my practice by fostering a child-centred approach to the teaching of writing. My value of being child-centred was the driving force behind my research as I was concerned with my teacher led instruction of writing. A self-study action research approach enabled me to examine my own practice with the aim of improving it. The research was qualitative in nature. Questionnaires, writing samples, observations and a reflective journal ensured that the perspective of the researcher, the children and colleagues were all represented in this study. The Writing Workshop framework was implemented for a twelve-week period in my Senior Infant classroom. The workshop approach enabled me to support the children more effectively on a whole class (mini lessons), group (guided writing) and individual (conferences) level. The children were at the fore as their interests led the workshops. As I was working with children, ethical considerations were central to every aspect of this research. Data collected and analysed during this research indicated that providing children with choice, effective teacher support and using assessment for learning to inform my instruction were significant aspects when fostering a child-centred approach to writing. Furthermore, the use of pictures, talk before and during writing and authentic literature were found to be effective strategies to support and differentiate for children as they learn to write. The children’s overall enjoyment of the writing process and reasons for liking writing developed as a result of a more child focused approach to writing instruction. This research identifies two areas of concern that arose during the study. Firstly, teachers need to question the role of pre-designed literacy schemes and their use in the classroom. Although these schemes may have a place, teachers need to adapt them to suit the children in their class. In my own practice, I will use AfL to effectively plan my instruction in accordance with the children’s needs and abilities ensuring that the children are at the core of every lesson. Secondly, this research discovered an area of concern in relation to teaching constrained writing skills. Constrained skills are teachable skills including punctuation (capital letters, full stops) and spelling. Within this study, once the children had been exposed to these skills, they became overly focused on them. Therefore, I question when constrained skills should be introduced in our curriculum. In my own practice, I will delay the teaching of these skills until the children have had lots of exposure to craft development and are confident in their own ability to write.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: Foster; child centred; approach; teaching; writing; Froebel; Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education
    Item ID: 13716
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2020 10:06
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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