The Australian Journal of Language and Literacy
School of Education
Open Access funding enabled and organized by CAUL and its Member Institutions
It is important that teachers are conscious of and reflect upon their views of writing in order to support students to achieve writing outcomes. This study examined teacher views about which aspects of writing they considered most important in years one and two and explored how these views came to be formed. Four West Australian teachers participated in semi-structured interviews, during which they carried out a think-aloud process, voicing their thoughts as they examined, commented on, and evaluated young students’ writing samples. These data provided insights into their reasoning as they assessed children’s writing in years one and two. Findings revealed that participants focussed on the more surface-level, or secretarial aspects of writing, such as punctuation and ‘correct’ structure for the genre. The data indicated that teachers were particularly influenced by their knowledge of the contexts in which they worked, including knowledge they shared with colleagues, together with curriculum and systemic documents such as the Judging Standards materials supplied by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) or the NAPLAN marking guides. These results highlight how systemic assessments can shape teacher perceptions of writing more generally than the purpose for which they were originally intended.
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