Date of Award
EdD Doctor of Education
Nancy Farnan, PhD; Bob Donmoyer, PhD; Barbara Moss, PhD
academic success, academic writing, adolescents, beliefs, critical reading, education, gathering and reporting, high schools, Inquiry model, knowledge, naturalistic case study, research papers, teachers
The ability to compose a well-written research paper is evidence o f a student's ability to read critically and write academically. However, evidence suggests that many college-bound high school graduates have not learned these skills. While the research literature overwhelmingly supports the notion that teachers are an important factor in students’ academic success, and that in order to be academically successful, students need to have critical reading and writing skills, there has been little research about how teachers' beliefs and knowledge about critical reading and academic writing influence instruction with regard to these skills. This naturalistic case study employed in-depth interviews, observations, and document collection in exploring how six high school teachers’ beliefs and knowledge about critical reading and academic writing influenced how they taught students to write research papers. Two research questions guided this investigation: (a) What are the beliefs and knowledge of high school English teachers regarding critical reading and writing research papers; and (b) How do teachers’ beliefs and knowledge about critical reading and academic writing influence how they teach students to write research papers? The findings suggested that teachers approached research paper instruction with one of two goals in mind— research as an act of inquiry or research as an act of gathering and reporting information. Teachers who used an inquiry model were more likely to hold mimetic or expressive beliefs (Fulkerson, 1979) and were likely to believe that students needed writing knowledge specific to the task of writing a research paper (Smagorinsky & Smith 1998). These teachers held high expectations that students would produce well-written papers, and adapted their instructional practices to improve students’ critical reading and thinking skills. Teachers who approached teaching the research paper as an act of gathering and reporting on information were more likely to hold formalist beliefs and focused their instruction on the form and correctness of the final product. These teachers held negative attitudes about teaching students to write research papers, had low expectations that students would produce well-written papers, and adapted instructional practices in order to improve students skills in formatting the paper following accepted citation guidelines.
Dissertation: Open Access
Digital USD Citation
Davis Harris, Cindi EdD, "An Examination of Teachers’ Beliefs about Critical Reading and Academic Writing" (2004). Dissertations. 870.