Teachers’ beliefs about writing instruction in public secondary schools in Chile: an online national survey

Submitted by: Magdalena Flores
Abstract: In Chile there is a need of conducting descriptive studies that could set a basis of evidence for future improvement of writing instruction at school secondary level. When aiming to contribute to such a gap, is essential to understand teacher’s perception and judgments about writing instruction, because these beliefs affect their actual behavior in the classroom (Pajares, 1992). Therefore, we created and implemented an online national survey study aiming to collect information about L1 teachers’ beliefs about writing instruction in Chile and their relation to their practices.
We based our questionnaire design on a meta-analysis of writing practices for adolescents (Graham & Perin, 2007), previous survey studies conducted in other countries, and relevant literature of the Chilean context. We asked about general self efficacy beliefs about writing instruction, and, in addition, about beliefs concerning specific paradigms of L1 and writing instruction, including the linguistic, communicative, procedural and cultural paradigms. During Spring 2017 we collected 182 completed surveys from teachers of all the regions in Chile (response rate: 47%).
Teachers report to have possitive self efficacy beliefs regarding to their writing instruction (on average, 7/10), which contrast with their perceptions about their preparation for it: only 33% of the teachers reported being satisfied with their training for writing instruction.
Teachers report giving great emphasis to structural aspects of language, and interestingly, to creativity. On the contrary, they report to give less relevance to communicative aspects of writing, which is coherent with their self-efficacy beliefs about communicative and collaborative writing.
We created four profiles about teachers’ orientation towards writing instruction (60% of variance represented). These profiles match with the theoretical paradigms about L1 and writing instruction. Correlation analyses show that they are related to respondents’ reported practices.
We expect that this study will provide a knowledge base that would allow get an insight about possible improvements to be made in Chile (Cutler & Graham, 2008). Furthermore, we expect that it will contribute to the scientific knowledge about writing isntruction worldwide, will by providing data from the Chilean context, and by making this comparable to similar studies conducted in other countries.
Key words:
writing instruction, secondary education, teachers' practices, teachers' beliefs
Cutler, L. & Graham, S. (2008) Primary Grade Writing Instruction: A National Survey. Journal of Educational Psychology. 100, 4, 907-919.
Graham, S. & Perin, D. (2007) Writing Next. Effective Strategies to Improve Writing of Adolescents in Middle and High Education. Alliance for Excellent Education: New York.
Pajares, F. (1992) Teachers' Beliefs and Educational Research: Cleaning up a Messy Construct Review of Educational Research 62, 3, pp. 307-332