Creating the student writer: A study of writing identities in non-academic senior English classes
Australian Literacy Educators' Association
School of Education / Edith Cowan Institute for Education Research
This study explored what it means to be a writer in two Year 12 English classrooms in Western Australia (WA). At the time of this research, WA had witnessed an increase in the school leaving age, resulting in an increasingly diverse cohort of students undertaking compulsory English studies in their final two years of school. The study emerged from an interest in how students who would not traditionally have undertaken senior school English constructed their individual writing identities in response to different learning environments. It incorporated a multiple case study design supported by elements of ethnography. Data from teacher and student interviews, classroom observations and text analysis contributed to an understanding of the student writer. The research identified the key role teachers play in determining student writing identities, the potential value of genre as an entry point for teaching writing, and the ways students may confirm or resist the roles offered to them.