Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education
Taylor & Francis
Since writing ability has been found to be a key indicator of school success and successful participation in the workplace, it is important for preservice teachers to receive effective preparation in the area of writing. Reflecting on personal writing experiences allows preservice teachers to examine their own attitudes and beliefs about writing and the effects their attitudes and beliefs may have on their pedagogical decisions in the future. This article describes the findings from two focus groups conducted with preschool and elementary preservice teachers during which participants examined their attitudes towards writing that have developed over time and their plans for future writing instruction. The following three broad themes emerged related to key influences in the development of positive and negative attitudes towards writing: (a) having writing published or showcased increases positive attitudes towards writing, (b) creative opportunities and process-oriented teaching strategies provide the most meaningful writing experiences, and (c) negative feedback from teachers adversely impacts self-confidence in writing skills and leads to negative attitudes towards writing. Three themes related to views of writing instruction and pedagogical decisions for the future also emerged from the focus groups. These were: (a) embedding writing opportunities throughout the day helps provide quality writing instruction, (b) preservice teachers who struggle with writing mechanics are hesitant about teaching these skills to their future students, and (c) preservice teachers do not agree on one specific methodology for teaching writing or the amount of time that they will teach writing in the future.
Please use publisher's recommended citation: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10901027.2011.572230#.VP3hgC6Qeix