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Teacher behavior and attitude and student writing apprehension

Dissertation
Author: Peter Pappalardo
Abstract:
The purpose of the study was to examine three questions related to student writing apprehension and teacher behavior and attitude in a rural Pennsylvania high school. The questions were as follows. First, is the Willower Pupil Control Ideology (PCI) a reproducible instrument that predicts teacher behaviors in the classroom on a continuum from custodial to humanistic? Second, is there a relationship between teacher behaviors as measured by the PCI and student writing apprehension as measured by changes in the Daly/Miller Writing Apprehension Survey (WAS)? Finally, did students report other factors which had an effect on their willingness to write? The results of the study support the idea that Willower's PCI was a generally useful psychometric which predicts the likelihood of humanistic or custodial and direct or indirect behaviors by teachers. Student writing apprehension increased over the sampled population (n=405), with no differential effects found among the 25 classes studied, a result that is consistent with overall custodial behavior and direct teacher-student interactions . Systematic writing instruction, teacher modeling of writing, and affective support in the classroom were not common or significant elements in the curriculum of the high school in this study, according to observed and student-reported data.

TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT ....................................................................................................................... iii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ............................................................................................... iv TABLE OF CONTENTS .................................................................................................... v LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................................. xi LIST OF FIGURES .......................................................................................................... xii CHAPTER 1 ....................................................................................................................... 1 OVERVIEW OF THE PROBLEM .................................................................................... 1 Background ..................................................................................................................... 5 Relationships Among Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening ............................. 6 Student Resistance ...................................................................................................... 8 Definitions................................................................................................................... 9 Limitations ................................................................................................................ 11 Delimitations ............................................................................................................. 11 Theoretical Basis for the Study ..................................................................................... 12 Social Cognitive Theory ........................................................................................... 12 Writing Apprehension, Resistance and Self-efficacy ............................................... 12 Teacher Modeling and Writing Apprehension ......................................................... 13 Teacher Power and Writing Apprehension ............................................................... 14 Purpose of the Study ..................................................................................................... 15 Questions to be Answered in Study .............................................................................. 16 Chapter Summary ......................................................................................................... 17 CHAPTER 2 ..................................................................................................................... 19

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SYNTHESIS OF THE LITERATURE ............................................................................ 19 Criteria for Selection of Literature ................................................................................ 19 Context of the Problem ................................................................................................. 20 Review of the Literature ............................................................................................... 23 Theoretical Framework of Study: Social Cognitive Theory ..................................... 23 Writing and the Affective Domain ........................................................................... 26 Themes in the Literature ............................................................................................... 28 Writing Instruction and Uses of Writing .................................................................. 28 Student Empowerment .............................................................................................. 30 Reflective Learning ................................................................................................... 31 Teacher and School Resistance to Reflection ........................................................... 32 Teachers’ Modes of Instruction and Attendant Effects on Students ......................... 33 Summary of Literature on WAS and PCI ..................................................................... 36 The Daly-Miller Writing Apprehension Survey ....................................................... 36 Relationships Between WAS and Academic Scores and Psychometrics ................. 36 Relationship of Teacher Pupil Control Ideology to Teacher Behaviors ................... 38 Evaluation of Literature ................................................................................................ 42 Summary of Review ................................................................................................. 42 Overall Weaknesses and Strengths ............................................................................... 43 Strengths ................................................................................................................... 43 Weaknesses ............................................................................................................... 44 Gaps and Saturation Points in the Present Literature .................................................... 45 Gaps .......................................................................................................................... 45

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Saturation .................................................................................................................. 45 Avenues for Further Inquiry ......................................................................................... 45 Chapter Summary ......................................................................................................... 46 CHAPTER 3 ..................................................................................................................... 48 INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................ 48 Purpose of the Study ..................................................................................................... 49 Participants .................................................................................................................... 50 Method of Selection ...................................................................................................... 51 Design and Procedure ................................................................................................... 51 Size, Demographics and Variables ............................................................................... 58 Theoretical Basis for the Instruments Chosen for This Study ...................................... 58 Risks, Benefits and Compensation ............................................................................... 59 Rationale for Research Design...................................................................................... 60 Procedure ...................................................................................................................... 63 Analysis......................................................................................................................... 64 Limitations .................................................................................................................... 65 Delimitations ................................................................................................................. 66 Chapter Summary ......................................................................................................... 66 CHAPTER 4 ..................................................................................................................... 67 INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................ 67 Background ................................................................................................................... 67 Results ........................................................................................................................... 68 Teachers’ Self-Reported PCI Scores and Teacher Behaviors................................... 68

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Observed Writing Activities ..................................................................................... 71 Observed Teacher-Centered Activities ..................................................................... 73 Observed Student-Centered Teaching Activities ...................................................... 74 Student-Reported Lessons ........................................................................................ 75 Observed Student Artifacts ....................................................................................... 76 PCI Scores and Teacher-Student Interactions............................................................... 77 Differences in Teaching Activities as Compared with PCI Scores .............................. 80 Individual PCI and PNF Scores and Teaching Activities ............................................. 83 Betty .......................................................................................................................... 83 Bert ............................................................................................................................ 84 Pattie ......................................................................................................................... 85 Joe ............................................................................................................................. 86 Steve .......................................................................................................................... 88 Interpretation of Data ................................................................................................ 89 WAS Scores, Round One .............................................................................................. 91 Results of the Second Application of WAS .................................................................. 93 Analysis of Changes in WAS Relative to Teacher PCI Scores .................................... 95 Summary of Short Student Interviews .......................................................................... 97 Introduction ............................................................................................................... 97 Reported Factors Which Make Students More Likely to Write ............................... 97 Reported Factors Which Discourage Writing ........................................................... 99 Conclusions, Short Student Interview Data ............................................................ 101 Results of Long Student Interviews ............................................................................ 102

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Conclusion .................................................................................................................. 107 CHAPTER 5 ................................................................................................................... 111 INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................... 111 Results of WAS........................................................................................................... 113 Changes in WAS Means ......................................................................................... 113 Writing Models of Britton and Flowers ...................................................................... 119 Writing as Self-Discovery or Reflective Practice ................................................... 119 Britton’s “Expressive” Writing ............................................................................... 120 Flowers’ “Writer-Based Writing” ........................................................................... 121 Writing as a Form of Interpersonal Communication .................................................. 121 Flowers’ “Reader-Based Writing” .......................................................................... 121 Britton’s Sub-Sets of “Reader-Based” Writing: Transactional vs. Poetic Writing 122 Types and Uses of Writing Found in Secondary School English Programs........... 125 Use of Expressive Writing in Writing Instruction .................................................. 127 Effects of Formal Expository Writing as Dominant Writing Activity ................... 130 Theoretical Value of Surface Errors as Diagnostic Tool ........................................ 131 Teacher Resistance Observed During Study ........................................................... 132 Teacher Data ............................................................................................................... 136 Introduction ............................................................................................................. 136 Conclusions ................................................................................................................. 143 Limitations of Study and Methods of Improvement ............................................... 143 Areas for Further Study .......................................................................................... 145 Conclusion .............................................................................................................. 146

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REFERENCES ............................................................................................................... 149

APPENDIX A – Sample Letter, Superintendent ............................................................ 159

APPENDIX B – Sample Letter, Teachers ...................................................................... 160

APPENDIX C – Sample Script for Teacher’s In-Service .............................................. 165

APPENDIX D – Daly-Miller Writing Apprehension Survey ......................................... 169

APPENDIX E – Sample Letter, Consent Form .............................................................. 171

APPENDIX F – Brief Student Interview/Portfolio Review Form.................................. 175

APPENDIX G – Willower PCI Survey .......................................................................... 178

APPENDIX H – Sample Chart – Individual Teacher’s Instructional Methods.............. 181

APPENDIX I – Sample Questions for In-Depth Interviews .......................................... 182

APPENDIX J – Frequency of Observed Teacher Behavior ........................................... 183

APPENDIX K – Frequency of Reported Teacher Behavior .......................................... 184

APPENDIX L – Sample Introductory Speech to Students ............................................. 185

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LIST OF TABLES Table 1: 2008 PSSA Testing ............................................................................................ 68 Table 2: Self Reported Teacher PCI Scores .................................................................... 70 Table 3: Reported Frequency of Instructional Activities ................................................. 76 Table 4: Student Writing Artifacts ................................................................................... 76 Table 5: PNF Scores ........................................................................................................ 82 Table 6: Researcher's PNR with Principal's PNF and PCI Scores ................................... 90 Table 7: WAS Class Average Scores, Round One .......................................................... 92 Table 8: WAS Means, Deviations and Ranges, September/January ............................... 93 Table 9: Change in WAS and Confidence Level of Statistics ......................................... 93 Table 10: Change in WAS Scores Per Teacher ............................................................... 93 Table 11: Univariate Tests of Hypothesis for Time Effect for Gender, Type of Class, .. 95

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1: PNF. .................................................................................................................. 81 Figure 2: Transactional vs. Poetic Writing. ................................................................... 123 Figure 3: Types of Writing. ........................................................................................... 124

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CHAPTER 1 OVERVIEW OF THE PROBLEM One purpose of high school is to prepare students for success in college, but for large numbers of college freshmen, their high school careers do not provide the background needed to succeed. The cost of remediation for incoming college students has been estimated to be 2.5 billion dollars yearly. Nationwide, as many as 43% of freshmen in two-year colleges and 30% of students enrolled in four-year public institutions take at least one remedial course (Schacter, 2008). The need for specific remediation in writing follows national trends. Data from the Pennsylvania Department of Education indicates that approximately 25% of students enrolled in state-owned universities or two-year colleges need remediation in English, usually based upon evaluation of student writing samples. The estimated cost of remediation in English exceeds ten million dollars a year in Pennsylvania (New Higher Education Data, 2009). The problem is not unique to one state. Approximately 46% of freshman in the California State University System needed remediation in English and writing in 2006 and 2007. This is despite the fact that the average grade point average of these students in high school was a B (Knudson, Zitzer-Comfort, Quirk & Alexander, 2008). Concern about the cost of college remediation in Massachusetts prompted the Board of Higher Education there to propose that high schools be billed for the cost of remediation for their respective students, a measure that is similar to one that was proposed in Georgia (Sandham, 1998). In Minnesota, one-third of the students at state colleges are taking remedial courses, and these students represent all races, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds (Schacter, 2008).

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The number of students being remediated has not changed significantly since the year 2000, when 28% of entering freshmen nationwide enrolled in one or more remedial courses in reading, writing or mathematics. Students did, however, show increased time spent in remediation between 1995 and 2000, with the percentage of students spending at least one year in remediation increasing from 28% to 35%. In 2000, 11% of over two million incoming freshmen took remedial courses in writing on the average. Public two- year colleges showed 23% of their students enrolled in remedial writing courses, with private two-year schools enrolling 17% and four-year public and private institutions enrolling 9% and 7%, respectively (Remedial Education, 2000). There is a significant disconnect, then, between the writing skills learned in high schools and the ones required in college. Sanoff (2007) reported that while 44% of college faculty thought incoming freshmen were not well prepared to face the rigors of undergraduate writing, only 10% of high school teachers thought so. In a study at George Washington University, incoming freshmen reported that they had been required to complete only literary analysis, lab reports, and analytic essays as often as once a month. They wrote few research papers, were seldom asked to critically examine written arguments, received limited feedback on assignments, seldom were asked to turn in drafts of assignments, and almost never used scholarly journals in their writing (Beil & Knight, 2007). Many high school graduates who go on to college, therefore, are adversely affected by a lack of preparation for college-level writing, and these are presumably the most academically competent students. A significant number of high school graduates never attend post-secondary institutions, often because they are reluctant or feel unable to write (Rose, 1995). Finally, students who do attend two- and four-year colleges often

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limit career choices and avoid majors which they believe are writing-intensive because of their own perceptions and feelings about writing tasks (Rose, 1995; Walsh, 1986; Pajares, 2003). Sizable portions of high school students forego college, require time-consuming and expensive remediation in college, or limit career choices and life decisions based upon their experiences with writing in high school. The nature of high school writing instruction and the impact of that instruction on a student’s likelihood of success with writing is therefore a critical concern in educational leadership (Landers, 2002). Writing is a complex mental process that is influenced by a large number of variables, one of which is a student’s attitude towards writing (Rose, 1989a). Writing apprehension, the tendency for students to resist the acts of writing or submitting writing for evaluation, is one factor that is associated with students who struggle with writing, and is therefore one measure of how the high school writing experience impacts students (Daly & Miller, 1975). A high degree of writing apprehension has been correlated with lower SAT scores, reduced expectations of success among students (called self-efficacy), and a reduction in their willingness to take advanced courses in high school (Daly & Miller, 1975; Pajares, 2003). Apprehension has also been linked to lower GPA in high school, lower ACT scores, and lower self-esteem, not just concerning writing, but in general (Walsh, 1986; Pajares, 2003). Students who were apprehensive about writing consistently scored lower on both standardized writing tests and on holistically scored writing prompts (Minot & Gandle, 1991). The degree of student writing apprehension has been linked to both the type of instruction chosen by teachers and teacher behavior concerning writing (Pajares, Usher &

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Johnson, 2007; Bandura, 1997). Teacher behavior is related to belief systems held by the teacher, and teachers often avoid changes in both beliefs and behaviors. This is so even when a teacher’s behavior concerning methods of instruction is not supported by empirical data concerning the results of instruction. So, for example, a teacher might persist in maintaining rows of seats in his or her classroom because the teacher believes that is the best way to ensure student success, even when students clearly prefer learning in more flexible seating arrangements (Smagorinsky & Smith, 1992). A teacher’s ideology, then, has an impact on his or her behaviors, which, as stated earlier, do influence a student’s writing apprehension. A reproducible psychometric that accurately measured teacher beliefs and behavior would be a valuable tool in understanding how those variables influence writing apprehension. Willower et al., (1967) developed a survey called the Teacher Pupil Control Ideology index (PCI), which has been correlated with both teacher beliefs and teacher behaviors. The PCI is a Likert-like, twenty-item questionnaire that measures the degree to which a teacher is either custodial or humanistic in approaching student-teacher interaction. Briefly, custodial teachers tend to be authoritarian while humanistic teachers tend to employ student-centered teaching methodologies. This raises the possibility of quantitatively examining the relationship between a teacher’s pupil control ideology and the writing apprehension of that particular teacher’s students. Willower et al., (1967, 1973) also found a limited number of correlations between teachers’ PCI and the nature of instructional methodologies they chose, leading to a second area of focus for this study, which is the impact of teacher behaviors on the writing apprehension of their students.

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Although numerous studies in the last decade have explored apprehension and writing, none have sought to determine if there is a relationship between PCI and writing apprehension. Only limited studies have been done on apprehension among high school students, and little has been done to systematically examine the effect of teacher ideology and behavior on writing apprehension among high school students (Pajares, 2007). Finally, there are no recent studies that examine whether PCI is an accurate predictor of actual teacher behaviors as determined by classroom observations, examinations of student artifacts and student interviews. Apprehension about writing causes some students to opt out of college or to limit life choices. Statistics on remediation indicate that many students are ill prepared to succeed in college because of substandard writing skills associated with writing apprehension (Walsh, 1986; Pajares & Cheong, 2004). There is no lack of research on or strategies for improving student writing skills, and yet the trends in writing shortfalls have not changed significantly over the past two decades. This study therefore focuses on evaluating how teacher behaviors and attitudes affect the writing apprehension of students. Background My interest in effective writing instruction in public secondary schools sprang from experiences I had when I ceased teaching high school science to begin teaching English at the secondary level. Fifteen years of structuring content instruction in biology, earth science and anatomy left me almost completely unprepared to deal with the attitudes I discovered among high school students with regard to reading and writing. Following locally accepted practices of giving my English students highly specific

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rubrics for writing assignments, firm due dates and clear and concrete guidelines concerning the final form of assignments, I was faced with results that a scientist would consider dismal: roughly a third of my students simply refused to read the text assigned or failed to meet deadlines for the submission of required formal writing assignments, or both. While many of the teachers with whom I was working at the time held the view that students refuse to comply because they wish to disrupt the orderly progression of class or to antagonize the teacher, many of my resistant students were pleasant and personable. They were compliant in the social aspects of the class, and seemed to enjoy other aspects of class interaction and instruction as well, which challenged the belief that non-compliance was a sign of antagonism. For many of my students, there seemed to be a specific reluctance to write or submit writing. The logical next step was to discover why they avoided writing so that I might lessen their reluctance to write. This was a question I could not answer before examining my own beliefs about writing and how writing related to the other activities in the English classroom, specifically reading, speaking and listening, three other forms of communication utilized in my instructional methods. Relationships Among Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening I approach reading and listening as similar activities in slightly different formats because both involve decoding someone else’s meaning through the use of words, whether spoken or written. In a similar way, I imagined that writing was simply a more permanent form of speaking, again because of the commonality between them, that is, the

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use of words to convey meaning between individuals. Finally, I imagined that reading and writing were reciprocal activities that were inextricably connected. I also believed that readers write and writers read. While my mental models might have been correct in relation to myself, they were not accurate or useful in understanding my students’ reluctance to write. For my students, listening, reading, writing and speaking were not necessarily equivalent or even related activities. Many of my reluctant student writers spoke freely, listened well, and read widely. Their aversion was specifically towards writing, since they were obedient in other regards. Their refusal to write was not because they wished to be disruptive. In comments and conversations, these students indicated that they chose not to participate in an activity, in this case, writing, which already seemed to preclude them as successful practitioners. They were specifically “writer-haters,” to use the term one student coined. In speaking with students about why they did not care to write, some themes emerged. Some students said they did not like writing prompts and always did poorly on them, as the prompts often had little to do with their own interests or background. Some resistant writers even reported that they often wrote, but that the kinds of writing done in high school either did not interest them, or they were uncomfortable submitting their more personal writing to teachers. Students also said that they became disheartened when corrected papers were returned “covered with red.” Many students specifically made reference to the limited forms of writing they were asked to do as well as to the nature of the assessment methods used by the teacher. I began to realize that my mental model of these students as merely “non- compliant” neglected the impact my own behaviors and attitudes had on their reluctance

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to write. I also realized that I had a host of preconceptions that included many of the negative stereotypes of students documented by Helmers (1994). In Writing Students: Composition Testimonials and Representations of Students, Helmers presents case studies that reveal a cultural aversion towards non-compliant students as dissident and subversive entities. In casual conversations among themselves, Helmers noted that teachers often made derisive or mocking remarks about individual students or students in general. She discovered that teachers often viewed non-compliant student behavior, such as being off- task or not turning in assignments, as proof of a desire to upset the established order of the classroom or as an indication of defective cognitive abilities (Helmers, 1994). This attitude reduces compliance to a sort of power struggle between teacher and student, which increases student resistance to the behavior desired by the teacher (Erickson, 1984). Student Resistance Lunenburg, Sartori & Bauski (1999) define student resistance as the systematic refusal by students to engage in activities which are not in agreement with the students’ cultural or ethnic backgrounds, or which do not conform to core student beliefs or serve any apparent purpose in their view. This definition fit the attitudes and attributes of my resistant writers. The first problem for me was how to change what I did in the classroom to minimize this student resistance to writing. Moreover, Pajares (2003) suggests that resistance to activities, once established, is difficult to reverse. This made the early and accurate diagnosis of student resistance critical if I hoped to avoid patterns of non- compliance.

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The goal that led me to reflect upon my own teaching activities was to have all students write often and without resistance. This led to an interest in how teacher behaviors and beliefs may impact student writing apprehension. The remainder of this section of Chapter 1 will first put forth definitions of terms and the limitations and delimitations of the study. The theoretical framework that explains the relationship between resistance and writing apprehension and the effect of teacher behavior on writing apprehension will be briefly presented. Included in this discussion is an overview of Daly and Miller’s Writing Apprehension Survey (WAS) and Willower’s Teacher Pupil Control Ideology index (PCI), which is one measure of a teacher’s attitude towards power and control. Finally, the purpose and questions this study is designed to answer will be presented. Definitions Axial Coding: interpreting and grouping qualitative data into common themes or topics to determine patterns in written or oral responses to open-ended questions. Custodial teachers: teachers who tend to tightly control student activity and input, and who utilize negative reinforcements in response to behavior that is deemed inappropriate or unwanted (Willower, et al., 1967; Lunenburg, et al., 1999). Curriculum: An organized framework that delineates subject area skills and content as well as the processes designed to achieve mastery in those domains (Dewey, 1933). Humanistic Teachers: teachers who employ constructivist methodologies in the classroom, cede significant power for making decisions and meaning to the student, and who appeal to intrinsic motivations in the student to gain compliance (Willower, et al., 1967).

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Reflective practice: active, persistent, overt and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in light of the grounds that support it and further conclusions to which it leads (Dewey, 1933). Resistant students : students who refuse to comply with activities or assignments owing to a perception that those activities or assignments are either meaningless or contradict deeply held ethnic, cultural or sociopolitical beliefs (Lunenburg et al., 1999). Self-efficacy: the self-perception of one’s ability to successfully complete a task, learn a skill or master a concept (Bandura, 1997). Shadow curriculum: the sum of all the beliefs, activities, decisions and relationships that do not obviously advance the learning of the student or the teacher, which promulgate existing power structures, both implicit and overt, and whose existence serves to eliminate the need or desire for reflective dialogue and activities in the classroom. Social-cognitive theory: the belief that all knowledge is constructed in a social context in a complex and recursive manner unique to each individual learner, and that the usefulness of constructed knowledge is determined by its effectiveness in that social context (Bandura, 1986). Social Contract: a willing agreement between parties in which individual behaviors and rights are freely and voluntarily limited in such a way that the loss of individual freedom is outweighed by the creation of a common good. Teacher modeling: the display of observable behavior by a teacher consistent with the behavior desired among the students in the class. Teacher pupil control ideology: the extent to which teachers are either humanistic or custodial as measured by Willower’s (1967) Pupil Control Ideology (PCI) form.

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Writing apprehension : the fear of or aversion to writing or to having one’s writing read or evaluated as determined by the Daly-Miller Writing Apprehension Survey, hereafter the WAS (Daly & Miller, 1975). Limitations Absences will create different conditions under which those students who are absent will complete the Daly-Miller Instrument. The aim of the study is to utilize a sample of convenience limited to teachers of junior and senior English for two reasons. First, this will limit the number of classes being observed to a manageable number. Secondly, the age of this population of students is closest to that of college freshmen, the population most often cited in research on apprehension. Depending on the distribution of students in the first and second semesters, certain sub-populations such as special education, minority or disabled students might not be proportionately represented. Delimitations The relatively small sample (n<400) of this study and the small number of classrooms (eight or less) will tend to limit the generalizability of the study. Since this is a sample of convenience, no attempt has been made to examine any of the variables in schools with markedly different demographics, which also limits generalizability. The focus of the study is not to measure teacher perceptions of any of the variables in the study, except through the use of the PCI, field notes from the initial in-service and brief exit interviews with teachers. The anticipated concentration of subjects in the last two years of high school (grades 11 and 12) means that no attempt has been made to determine the effects of teacher modeling on any of the variables here listed for any other grades or ages, nor has any attempt been made to measure reading or speaking abilities,

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either qualitatively or quantitatively, although both are closely aligned with writing. Finally, the study is not longitudinal and therefore the extent of the changes in writing quality examined can be expected to be limited in nature. Theoretical Basis for the Study Social Cognitive Theory Social cognitive theory suggests that all meaning is constructed in a social environment rather than being handed down as an absolute from authority figures. (Bandura, 1986). According to this theory, it is the apparent positive or negative results of those behaviors that tend to encourage or discourage their use. This is true even when the behaviors and results occur to someone else, rather than to the student who observes these behaviors and results (Bandura, 1986). Writing Apprehension, Resistance and Self-efficacy Apprehension towards writing is an antecedent psychological condition that is associated with resistance, a failure or refusal to write (Daly & Miller, 1975; Pajares, 2003). Apprehension is often increased when the behavior desired by the teacher, in this case, writing, is at odds with a student’s personal or societal background and history. Social cognitive theory illuminates how the skills and behaviors offered by a teacher in the classroom might be viewed by students as useful in achieving success in that social setting, even when they are divergent from the student’s own more familiar history and behaviors (Bandura, 1997). According to social cognitive theory, new skills and behaviors offered in the classroom can be incorporated into the complex social matrix of which the student is already a part, especially when some control is ceded to the student by the teacher (Bandura, 1997; Lunenburg et al., 1999). Students who view writing as

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useful and productive in a particular social setting exhibit lower degrees of both writing apprehension and resistance (Pajares et al., 2007). Bandura (1986) calls the beliefs of students concerning their own likelihood of success in gaining competency or acquiring a skill “self-efficacy.” This construct has attracted considerable attention in the literature of theories concerning learning and motivation, and has been shown to be a broad indicator of academic success in writing (Pajares et al., 2007). Writing apprehension is negatively correlated with self-efficacy, again making apprehension a powerful indicator of future writing success and one which links both self-efficacy and resistance theories (Pajares, 2003; Parajes, 2007). According to social cognitive theory, there are several factors related to teacher behaviors and ideologies that could theoretically reduce student writing apprehension. First, when teachers model or exhibit the same behaviors and produce the same outcomes as their students, students are more apt to be willing to engage in those activities, since modeling appropriate and desired behaviors is a powerful motivator in learning environments (Bandura, 1986). Secondly, students who are given some control of their writing in a student-centered classroom are less apprehensive and therefore tend to produce more text (Rose 1995; Donlon, 1990; Pajares, 2003). Finally, students who experience some degree of success in a supportive environment are more likely to persevere than those who do not (Bandura, 1986). Teacher Modeling and Writing Apprehension Since secondary students are in the process of becoming functional adults, it makes sense that they are keen observers of the behavior of the adults responsible for their care and education. In discussing the idea of modeling, Bandura (1997) suggests

Full document contains 199 pages
Abstract: The purpose of the study was to examine three questions related to student writing apprehension and teacher behavior and attitude in a rural Pennsylvania high school. The questions were as follows. First, is the Willower Pupil Control Ideology (PCI) a reproducible instrument that predicts teacher behaviors in the classroom on a continuum from custodial to humanistic? Second, is there a relationship between teacher behaviors as measured by the PCI and student writing apprehension as measured by changes in the Daly/Miller Writing Apprehension Survey (WAS)? Finally, did students report other factors which had an effect on their willingness to write? The results of the study support the idea that Willower's PCI was a generally useful psychometric which predicts the likelihood of humanistic or custodial and direct or indirect behaviors by teachers. Student writing apprehension increased over the sampled population (n=405), with no differential effects found among the 25 classes studied, a result that is consistent with overall custodial behavior and direct teacher-student interactions . Systematic writing instruction, teacher modeling of writing, and affective support in the classroom were not common or significant elements in the curriculum of the high school in this study, according to observed and student-reported data.