Thursday, February 26, 2009

K-12 Topics: Interesting Research (3)

10-second review: Variety of topics and findings in recent research.

Title: “Annotated of Bibliography of Research in the Teaching of English.” ed. R Beach, et al. Research in the Teaching of English (RTE) (November 2008), 188-235. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

1. Writing in First Grade. How does attitude affect first and third-graders’ writing achievement? “Students who were more positive about writing had higher writing achievement.”
S Graham, V Berninger, W. Fan. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 32 (3), 516-536. RTE (Nov. 08), 227.
[Comment: So how do you help first-grade students improve their attitude toward writing? RayS.]

2. Writing: Teaching. How should one teach the writing process? “Recommends to explicitly and systematically teach the processes and strategies involved in writing, including planning, sentence construction, summarizing and revising.”
S. Graham and D. Perin. (2007). Journal of Educational Psychology, 99 (3), 445-476. RTE (Nov. 08), 227.
[Comment: That can’t mean back to grammar drills, can it? How does “sentence construction” differ from traditional grammar? Otherwise the finding is true, in my experience. Telling people to construct a thesis sentence does not teach them how to. All aspects of the writing process, from brainstorming to editing should be taught. RayS.]

3. College Testing. Which is a better predictor of success in the first year of college? Grades or SAT scores? “Of the three SAT [Verbal] sections the writing section is the most predictive of college performance.”

“For students in public/less selective colleges, grades are slightly better predictors of success, while SAT scores are slightly better predictors for private/more selective colleges.”

“Suggests the value of using an admission test that includes a writing sample.”

JL Kobrin, et al. (2008). “Validity of the SAT for Predicting First-Year College Grade-Point average.” College Board Research Report No. 2008-5.
[Comment: This is a publication I have to read! I hope it does not have as many holes in it as were in some of the earlier reports I read from the College Board. Go ahead. Challenge me. Ask me what were the holes in those earlier reports! RayS.]

4. Writing Process and Product. Why do struggling writers struggle? “…struggling writers focus on product over process even at the secondary level.”
S-JC Lin, BW Monroe, and GA Troia. (2007). Reading and Writing Quarterly, 23 (3), 207-230. RTE (Nov. 08), p. 228.
[Comment: Does this mean that struggling writers try to write it right the first time? RayS.]

5. Writing: Feedback. What’s the best way for students to send feedback by e-mail to another student writer? Anonymous or identifiable? “Finds that anonymous feedback results in more critical feedback and superior writing performance than the use of identifiable feedback.”
R. LU and I. Bol. Journal of Online Interactive Learning. 6 (2), 100-115. RTE (Nov. 08), 228. [Comment: I’ll have to replicate this one. RayS.]

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