Digital teaching tips & tricks, ideas, examples, and general thoughts and reflections. Could be useful to anyone teaching in a digital learning environment.
Email: mgoodwin@ptengland.school.nz

Friday, 8 April 2016

Student Voice: Boys Writing

I was challenged early on in my inquiry about whether I had asked for student input about the assumptions I was making about boys needs in writing.

I reflected that I was in fact making a lot of assumptions about learners needs, without actually asking the learners themselves. Therefore, using Google forms I created a short questionnaire for learners to complete about 'their thoughts on writing'. Out of 140 odd learners I had 107 competed responses.
Most results were as I predicted, however there were some surprises.

30% of Boys stated they either "Don't like" or "Hate" writing, vs only 10% of Girls that felt this way.

25% of Boys said that they did writing at home, vs 40% of Girls.

Interestingly both Boys and Girls stated that their favourite type of writing was "Free writing". This is something I rarely do in the class, and use more as a early-finisher task. I am open to allowing more "free writing" in the class, however I question what the finished product of what this would be?

Another point I found interesting was the amount of structure the Boys and Girls stated that they preferred. Majority of the Boys stated that they preferred to have the teacher tell them what to write about, where as the girls preferred to have more freedom.

Boys also stated that they prefer to do all their writing in one go, where the girls were happy to write in small sections.

When I reflect on my own thoughts towards writing, I guess I feel in many way similar to how the majority of the boys responded. For me writing is a means to an end. It is not the act itself that I enjoy. Therefore, when I do write it tends to feel like a bit chore or job to finish. I will write the whole lot in one go, rather than space it out over multiple writing sessions, and will stick to the guidelines or task as close as possible.

Despite this I do not believe my attitude towards writing impairs on my ability to write. Writing was something I struggled with at High School, but became skilled at at University. I learned to write well, because I needed to write well for the qualification I desired. This is an interesting thought, because if I was in my class... how would I feel about writing?
What is the need, that would motivate me to improve?

Leaving me to ponder how I can inspire my learners to want and need to write better!