Teachers' perspectives on authorship as a pedagogical tool to develop voice: A participatory study
Cheryl L. Winkley, University of California, San Francisco, United States
University of California, San Francisco . Awarded
This study explores the differences between traditional teaching of writing as the acquisition of communicative skills, and authorship in the classroom, a pedagogy drawing on the work of Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy and grounded in transformative education. This study posed the question of whether the use of authorship in the elementary classroom, including authoring and self publishing books, has an effect on the development of voices of students, teachers, and parents. The study also explores the present need, use, and potential of assistive technology as a tool to assist in the authorship process.
Using participatory research, the researcher engaged eight practicing preschool and elementary school teachers, including ESL, bilingual, and special education teachers, as well as thirteen administrators and teacher educators, in critical dialogue concerning their experiences relating to authorship in the classroom and other authentic writing practices. The study used responses to comprehensive questionnaires to select several participants and obtain information concerning the practice of authorship. The dialogues served as a window on the actual use of authorship in classrooms across the country, including those serving students with exceptional needs.
An analysis of the dialogues revealed the significant impact of authorship on everyone involved. Authorship has an impact on student literacy and voice. It is grounded in social justice, and helps improve elementary students' sense of self-worth, identity, and appreciation of their families and cultural heritage. Authorship can also be used with assistive technology to help students with special needs allow their voices to be heard.
Authorship also has an impact on the development of teachers' own voices and teaching effectiveness. It also helps teachers understand their students and improve relationships with students' families. Authorship is a pedagogy that unifies different aspects of literacy and expands vocabulary. It is healing, creating connections, and unifying the school site in a way that inspires and connects students, teachers, parents, administrators, and the greater community.
Winkley, C.L. Teachers' perspectives on authorship as a pedagogical tool to develop voice: A participatory study. Ph.D. thesis, University of California, San Francisco.
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