Thursday, August 20, 2009

Underachieving Boy Writers - Action Research

In response to the research "Raising Boys' Achievement in Writing" an action research project was established by teachers in Lancashire in the summer of 2005 to address underachieving boy writers.

Here's a numbered summary of the project.

1. 15 underachieving boy writers were identified and clustered into groups of five.
2. A team approach to intervention was established.
3. Tracking of the group of boys was conducted during the project.
4. A base line was established by having each boy complete a writing assignment.
5. The base line assignments were levelled.
6. Boys were given a pre and post questionnaire to examine their attitudes towards writing. [Page 16]
7. Initial training had a clear focus on planning and the inclusion of video/image/drama.
8. A three week unit plan was developed which followed the teaching sequence from reading to writing. [pages 24 and 26]
9. A "Planning Circles" framework was created to establish the teaching learning sequence [page 7]
10. Drama activities were learned and used during the process [Page 8]
11. Focus was on writing for different purposes: Headline and Short Report, An Informal Letter, Responses to texts and video excerpts.
12. Conclusion was that this action research was successful. [Page 22]
13. A list of the books and DVDs used is on [page 23]
14. Appendices include useful 3 week plan and and exemplar teacher plan. [Pages 25 to 29]

It is plans like these that make me happy to be a teacher! Well thought out, targeted at a group of learners and based on research.

Well done Lancashire Literacy Team and thank you for assisting and motivating our boy writers.

1 comment:

  1. Great posting for sure, Kent!
    I just completed my intermediate qualifications in Drama this Spring and I agree that it's something we need to integrate across the curriculum!

    I'm writing a blog posting about my son's making of movies this summer. It was great to watch the boys (ages 16-18) 'play' for a change and also create some wonderful collaborative pieces of art! :) There was a LOT of literacy embedded...scripting, storyboarding, editing...I was so happy to see them do this unassisted and for fun!
    You KNOW I'm sold on it for the classroom, but I was thrilled to see this learning "spill out" from Kieran's media classes to independence.
    The arts, and having a voice, are both really so tranformative for kids of all ages!