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Title: From composition to transcription: A study of conceptual understanding and levels of awareness in thinking used by children during specific genre writing tasks
Authors: Silby, Alison
Advisors: Watts, DM
Zwozdiak-Myers, P
Keywords: Children;Writing;Genres;Awareness;Collaborative
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Brunel University School of Sport and Education PhD Theses
Abstract: This naturalistic study of cases explores the interrelationship between children’s awareness of their own thought processes, their ability to understand key concepts and concept vocabulary and integrate new ideas into their existing knowledge base when engaged in specific genre writing tasks. An adaptation of the framework, originally devised by Swartz and Perkins (1989), was used to identify the levels of awareness in thinking displayed by eight Year 3 children, when engaged in genre writing tasks during one academic year. The addition of ‘collaborative use’ to this framework highlights ways in which collaborative thinking can act as a support for young writers. When children co-construct ideas they endeavour to make their thinking explicit thus enabling teachers to assess levels of conceptual understanding whilst the children are engaged in a writing task. Evidence also suggests that young writers move in and out of the suggested levels of thinking depending on the complexity of the task, their prior knowledge and understanding of key concepts and awareness of the working strategies and thought processes they employ. This study not only contributes to current research on genre writing within school based contexts but makes a unique contribution by highlighting the need for pedagogical strategies to focus on the way young writers think about and understand the underlying concepts and principles related to genre writing tasks. Evidence also suggests that learning objectives presented to this age group often focus on the factual and procedural aspects of a writing task. However, when factual, procedural and conceptual aspects are made explicit through clear, thought-provoking learning objectives then children are able to develop their own creative responses within the linguistic and textual structures of the given genre without being confined by them.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
Appears in Collections:Education
Dept of Education Theses

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