The quality of a teacher’s interventions with secondary or vocational teacher education students when it comes to writing, regardless of the subject being taught, depends largely on that teacher’s relationship to writing.
What is the relationship to writing? Briefly, it is the complex and changeable relationship between an individual and the process and products of writing. A teacher’s willingness to write, to learn to write and to encourage others to write depends on the nature of the conceptions, feelings and values that nourish this relationship, as well as individual writing experiences. However, as writing lies at the heart of academic learning, future teachers must be proficient at writing and know how to support students in all phases of the writing process.
Our findings show that the relationship to writing did in fact evolve during university training.
In that context, we asked ourselves what influence future secondary and vocational teachers’ university training had on their relationship to writing. In other words, did their university training prepare them adequately to play their role in the development of their students’ writing skills? Our findings, obtained through questionnaires and interviews, show that the relationship to writing did in fact evolve during their university training and that the students understand the importance of the role of writing in knowledge acquisition.
However, their training does not appear to help them apply theory to practice and use writing to support learning in their students. Nonetheless, our research has yielded data allowing us to develop a tool targeted at characterizing teachers’ relationships to writing and enabling them to improve this relationship going forward.
Christiane Blaser, Université de Sherbrooke
Deposit of the research report: October 2014