Writing pedagogies and practices in English and natural science classes at grade 8 level.

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dc.contributor.author Piccolo, Adele
dc.date.accessioned 2009-02-11T09:46:27Z
dc.date.available 2009-02-11T09:46:27Z
dc.date.issued 2009-02-11T09:46:27Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/6045
dc.description.abstract The development of learner’s writing skills is a central aim of education. Writing is the core modality through which school success is measured. To gain an insight into this essential skill and mode of communication, I chose to explore the current practices and pedagogies around writing at the school where I teach. Through this research, I hoped to raise awareness of writing pedagogy and improve the learners’ the writing experiences. This research investigates, at the macro and micro level, the pedagogical practices around writing in two learning areas: English and Natural Science, at grade 8 level. It explores the various genres of written text learners are expected to produce, the processes involved in producing written texts and how these processes engage with the National Curriculum and policy documents. At a more micro level, it examines the institutional culture of the school, the school subject departments, and the actual classroom practices in which writing plays a central role. The research adopts a qualitative approach, drawing on ethnographic style methods including classroom observation, the collection of artefacts and field notes, and interviews with the teachers concerned. The findings of this study reveal that writing cannot be analysed as separate or discrete from the many influences, both macro and micro, which shape it. Writing needs to be understood as part of a complex interwoven system an ‘eco-system’ which is dependent on the broader policy framework, the individual school’s and subject department’s teaching and learning policies and practices, and individual teacher’s role in mediating writing. The findings show that the purposes and practices around writing differ in English and Natural Science, as the discourses, modes and genres required are different. The English classes focus on teaching writing as a skill, through a synthesis of Process and Genre approaches. The focus in the Natural Science classes is on ‘content’ – experiments and activities which teach ‘scientific content’ – and not primarily on teaching writing skills. In both classes, teacher and peer mediation is central to the success of writing pedagogy. However, these forms of mediation could be improved in my school to enable better writing production from learners. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Writing en
dc.subject English language en
dc.subject Natural sciences en
dc.title Writing pedagogies and practices in English and natural science classes at grade 8 level. en
dc.type Thesis en


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    Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of the Witwatersrand, 1972.

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