All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Lois M Christensen

Advisory Committee Members

Joseph C Burns

Linda K Emfinger

Lynn D Kirkland

Maryann Manning

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2009

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education

Abstract

THE "WRITE" TOOLS: THE IMPACT OF TEACHERS' SELF-EFFICACY ON CLASSROOM WRITING INSTRUCTION JUDY RAMONA RAPP EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION ABSTRACT While teaching self-efficacy has been supported as an important construct related to teacher competence (Goddard, R. D., Hoy, W. K., & Hoy, A. W. American Education Research Journal, 37, 479-507), little is known about how teachers think of themselves as writers, particularly as it relates to their writing instruction. This study supports the developing notion that writing self-efficacy is an important element in understanding how it is that teachers think about their own writing. It also serves to operationalize the construct of teachers' writing self-efficacy and how it impacts their writing instruction. Additionally, it was important to learn how teachers value writing as a tool of learning and evaluation. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the impact of early childhood teachers' self-efficacy on classroom writing instruction. The data was collected from eight early childhood teachers in a suburban elementary school. Results of the study indicated that most teachers did not remember writing in school. Other teachers remembered being taught in a traditional way through the rules of Language Arts, writing from teacher specifications, trial and error, or writing prompts. Even though teachers did not write in school or were taught more traditionally, classroom observations indicated that authority was decentralized. That is, these teachers wrote with their students, and they supported and validated student conversation and choice of writing topic. Finally, despite the fact that the school system in which the research was conducted placed a high value on providing teachers with professional development--specifically in the area of writing--only one of the eight teachers who participated in this study referenced professional development as a support system for themselves as a writer or teacher of writing, even though these same teachers were provided with professional development in a statewide reading initiative that requires a writing component in every grade.

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