National Writing Project Fellows' Perceptions of Themselves as Writers and as Teachers of Writing
Athans, Kimberly Ann
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At its core, this study explores the transformative nature of the National Writing Project Summer Institute (NWPSI). It employs an interpretive phenomenological analysis approach and theoretical constructs such as constructivism, self-efficacy theory, reader response theory, and socio-cultural theory in order to understand the perceptions of K-12 teachers who attended the NWPSI in Southeast Texas in the last ten years. Using interviews, reflexive journals, and a reflective metaphor activity, the researcher attempts to understand the ways that the six participants see themselves as writers and teachers of writing after experiencing the summer professional development program of the NWPSI. The research questions for the study are as follows: What are the perceptions of select National Writing Project Fellows of themselves as writers after participating in a summer writing institute? What are the perceptions of select National Writing Project Fellows of the impact the National Writing Project has had on the way they teach writing after participating in a summer writing institute? The researcher concludes that all of the participants developed a sense of self-efficacy, some of the participants viewed the program as a transformative process that changed the way they teach writing and the way that they see themselves as writers (rediscovery, validation, emergence), and that most of the participants immediately changed several of their teaching practices and felt a renewed sense of enthusiasm towards the teaching of writing after participating in the NWPSI. The researcher also concludes that the legacy of the NWP is a highly effective and transformative professional development tool for K-12 teachers in any discipline, and that the teachers teaching teachers training model is most effective in professional development of K-12 teachers.
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