Reluctant writers

Cognitive processes

The following is drawn from the literature providing the foundations for the study. See Gardner( xx) for details. Writing involves the integration of complex mental operations such as memory, motor-control, creativity and language processing. Poor orthographic memory or an inability to correctly spell a new word in the pupil's developing vocabulary can significantly constrain writing because of the pupil's fear of making a mistake. As a result the writer resorts to a repertoire of familiar words.

Pedagogic factors

This set of factors covers methods of teaching, teacher attitudes to writing and thinking about children as writers. One teacher, with wide experience of schools over many years, stated that children taught by the method of 'emergent writing' were generally more motivated to write than children in classrooms where secretarial or transcription skills are privileged over compositional ones, thereby leaving children with the view that writing is primarily concerned with the skills of handwriting, spelling and punctuation.

Context - Influencing factors

The project investigated possible factors that might influence a propensity towards a child's reluctance to write. Five factors were identified. A central feature is the child's feeling about writing and self view as a writer.

Identification - characteristic behaviours

The following characteristics may indicate that a pupil needs help to overcome barriers to writing (not all pupils will exhibit all these characteristics):

Reluctant writers

A reluctant writer is one who experiences one or more barriers to the writing process on a regular basis. Barriers may be exhibited during the process of writing as well as, or instead of, the start of the process. In addition, a reluctant writer may be defined as one whose writing is habitually superficial, either because ideas are not expanded or because the writing is executed in haste. Before identifying a pupil as a reluctant writer careful observation is required to differentiate between characteristics of reluctance and compositional styles.

Writing: Reluctant Writers

Reluctant writers: Image


Subscribe to RSS - Reluctant writers