As we discovered in class, the collective experience from social studies classroom was that, depending on the content and the particular teaching style of the teacher, lessons revolved around a worksheet where students find answers in a textbook or they are asked to do research on a building or landmark and then write about its history....
This article discusses the Constructivist theory of scaffolding and it is useful in this context because it allows teachers to teach the content as well as teach students the ability to analyze and critique information based on their own interpretation of the art that is being discussed.
A number of scholars contributed toward a growing conception of reading and writing relationships by focusing on students' engagement in the tasks, describing how from the early years, children use signs and symbols (both those in their environment and those they invent) to gain and convey meaning, even as they are first acquiring the conventionally accepted codes (Bissex, 1980; Clay, 1975; Read, 1971). Wittrock (1983) considered the generative nature of both domains; De Ford (1981) noted the supporting and interactive nature of the processes as they occur in primary classrooms; and Goodman and Goodman (1983) described relationships between the two based upon the pragmatic functions of each. Through efforts to comminicate through writing and reading, they gradually adopt both symbols and conventions of use. Eckhoff (1983) found that the second grade students she studied tended to imitate the style and structure of the basals used for reading instruction, which affected the organizational structures and linguistic complexity of the students' writing. Chall & Jacobs (1983) conducted a study of writing and reading development among poor children, based on NAEP-like test scores. Although reading and writing scores in grades 2 and 3 were good, they noted a deceleration in proficiency gains beginning in grades 4 and 5 and continuing through grade 7. Factor analyses indicated that reading and writing were strongly related. Together, this work suggested that the two domains do have an impact upon one another, with implications for enhancing learning. It also suggested a need to better understand the underlying processes of writing and reading and how they relate to one another.
Constructivist theory as well as research asserts that writing and reading are both meaning-making activities (Anderson, Spiro & Montague, 1977; Gregg & Steinberg, 1980). hen people write and read, meaning is continually in a state of becoming. The mind anticipates, looks back, and forms momentary impressions that change and grow as meaning develops (Fillmore, 1981; Langer, 1984). Language, syntax, and structure are all at play as texts-in-the-head and texts-on-paper develop. Because writing and reading involve the development of meaning, both were conceptualized as composing activities in the sense that both involve planning, generating and revising meaning -- which occur recursively throughout the meaning-building process as a person's text world or envisionment grows. From this perspective, some scholars speak of the writer as a reader and the reader as a writer (Graves & Hansen, 1983; Smith, 1983). According to Smith (1983) reading like a writer allows one to actually become a writer. When reading like a writer, in addition to making meaning of the text, the reader takes in and learns from the authors style, use of conventions and the like. When reading like a writer, the reader uses the authors text as a model for texts that he or she reader will eventually write.
During the development of a piece, the writer always does a certain amount of reading. And, further, writers often try to place themselves in the shoes of their audience, the readers, in order to check the comprehensibility of their presentation from the reader's perspective. In a similar manner, the reader has also been considered a writer in that the reader's mind races ahead to anticipate (and thus create) not only the message, but also the structure and presentational style of a piece; words are thought of as well as ideas, in ways in which they might appear (Bereiter & Scardamalia, 1982; Flower & Hayes, 1980). Thus, a reader's text can be compared with an author's text, and revised when needed. This sense of writing as reading provides a sense of personal engagement to the reading experience. Readers also sometimes place themselves in the shoes of the author in order to gain a personal or cultural perspective that enriches their own responses or interpretation (Purves, 1993)
Research has also considered the effects of reading and writing on thinking and how different types of writing tasks shape thinking and learning. It suggests that "reading and writing in combination are more likely to prompt critical thinking than when reading is separated from writing or when reading is combined with knowledge activation or answering questions" (Tierney et al., 1989, p. 134). Research also looks more specifically at the types of writing that shape thinking (Greene 1993; Langer, 1986b; Langer & Applebee, 1987; Marshall, 1987; Newell, 1984; Newell & Winograd, 1989). In the content areas, essay writing was found to be more beneficial than answering questions or taking notes regardless of students prior knowledge (Newell, 1984). Students involved in note-taking and responding to study questions seem to concentrate on remembering and regurgitating specific information from the text. Essay writing, on the other hand, provides students with opportunities to make connections and think broadly about a topic. These studies indicate that "the greatest variety of reasoning operations occur during essay writing, suggesting that this type of activity provides time for students to think most flexibly as they develop their ideas" (Langer & Applebee 1987, p. 100).
Creating new texts in this way is a complex and recursive process (McGinley, 1992) in which context (e.g., task, setting, prior experience of reader/writer), ones expertise as a reader, and his or her ability to use strategies play important roles (Flower, 1990; McGinley, 1992; Stein, 1990; Spivey, 1990; Spivey & King, 1989).
ThinkingStorm Writing Center
Ashford University Writing Center
Scaffolding is a process through which a teacher adds supports for students in order to
aid in the mastery
It is known that 87% of people who smoke are diagnosed with lung cancer and can lead to in most cases death.
Whether referred to as reading to write (Flower, 1990; Stein, 1990) or composing from sources (McGinley, 1992; Spivey, 1990; Spivey & King, 1989), the readers/writers are involved in processes of reading and writing that are so integrated
These findings are supported by Marshall's (1987) examination of the relationship between writing and the understanding of literature. By looking at the effects of restricted writing, personal analytic writing, and formal analytic writing, he found that restricted writing like responding to short answer questions may actually hinder students' understanding of literary texts because such tasks fail to provide students with an opportunity to explore and elaborate on possible interpretations.
Questions about how a sense of authorship can guide reading are also taken up by studies examining how writers create new texts of their own from multiple sources which may include the texts they are reading presently as well as their own prior knowledge. Readers/writers "(Spivey, 1990) through the constructive tasks of selecting, connecting and organizing information from source texts and prior knowledge. This incorporation of prior knowledge is what Stein (1990) refers to as elaboration. This cognitive process is "the principle means by which information from memory is combined with source text material in the reading process" (p. 146). Elaborations during reading create a "pool of ideas from which to draw during the writing process" (p. 147).
They need to
show their research within the context of their own writing
"Many of my students need assistance with outlining their essay and following the
for an academic essay: Answer the question, Cite evidence to support your answer, and Explain the evidence."
"On discussion posts, it's simple things like capitalizing the first word of a sentence, capitalizing "i," and using punctuation.
Mining is "fueled by three key strategies that can inform reading: reconstructing context, inferring or imposing structure, and seeing choices in language...[Using these strategies], a reader can begin to make informed guesses about how to use the ideas or discourse features of a given text in light of his or her goals as a writer" (Greene, 1992, p. 155). When mining, a sense of authorship guides the reader. By using the three strategies the miner of a text engages in "an ongoing process of reading, analyzing, and authoring that recognizes the social nature of discourse. Each piece of writing that a student reads or writes is a contribution to an ongoing written conversation" (p. 158). Conversely, the critical reader engages in a search for meaning by breaking down isolated texts. Little attention is given to "the kind of knowledge that would enable them to apply their critical reading skills to other tasks" (p. 159).