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Professional Development and Student Growth in Writing
Journal of Research in Childhood Education
  • Rachel M. B. Collopy, University of Dayton
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Although widely adopted, the efficacy of the Six Traits Analytic Writing Model for raising student writing achievement is uncertain. This comparison group study investigated teachers' perceptions of the efficacy of professional development in the model and students' writing gains. Data included teacher surveys and writing samples of 4th-graders from a school district in the United States. Teachers reported that the training enhanced their pedagogical knowledge related to writing and predicted it would improve their writing instruction and student achievement. Students in both the treatment (n = 50) and comparison (n = 50) groups made significant gains on several characteristics of writing during the school year. Beyond the contribution of students' previous achievement, teachers' years of experience, and teachers' participation in other professional development in writing, having Six Traits-trained teachers significantly predicted the treatment group's spring achievement on only one of the six traits (voice). Findings suggest a minimal impact of using the model for a predominantly middle-class, suburban population. Furthermore, the divergence between teachers' perceptions of the training's efficacy and students' subsequent writing achievement gains underscores the need to evaluate the outcomes of professional development in terms of student learning.
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The Journal of Research in Childhood Education is the official journal of the Association for Childhood Education International. Permission documentation on file.

Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed
Citation Information
Rachel M. B. Collopy. "Professional Development and Student Growth in Writing" Journal of Research in Childhood Education Vol. 23 Iss. 2 (2008)
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