TEACHER TRAINING AND WRITING INSTRUCTION: A STUDY OF THIRD- TO FIFTH-GRADE EDUCATORS’ CONFIDENCE
Keywords:Writing, Teachers, Self-Efficacy, Professional Development, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Qualitative
Third- to fifth-grade teachers are struggling to teach writing, and research has not addressed how their training to teach writing or their confidence in their ability to use effective strategies to teach writing influences their teaching. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to explore third- to fifth-grade teachers’ training in writing instruction and their confidence in their ability to use effective strategies to teach writing. The conceptual framework was based on Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy and Shulman’s theory of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). Participants included nine third- to fifth-grade teachers who had experience teaching writing. Data were collected through semistructured interviews. A priori and open coding were used as the first steps in data analysis. Next, axial coding was used to identify categories and themes. Findings indicated that participants used their pedagogical content knowledge to differentiate their teaching strategies in teaching writing. Findings also indicated that the longer a teacher taught, the more confident they felt in teaching writing. Finally, the findings indicated that the teachers believed that they did not receive writing pedagogy training in their teacher preparation programs, received only modest professional development once in the classroom, and desired more training to teach writing. The results provided insights into how training and confidence play a role in developing effective teaching practices. Results could be used by administrators and professional development coordinators to better support teachers in teaching the process of writing.
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