Teaching writing in grades 4–6 in urban schools in the Greater China Region
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A random sample of 1102 grade 4–6 Chinese language arts teachers in Beijing, Macao, and Taipei City were surveyed about their instructional writing practices. Seventy-eight percent (n = 857) of the teachers completed the survey. Teachers were generally positive about the usefulness of their college teacher preparation program. They slightly agreed that they liked to write, teach writing, and were effective writing teachers. Their beliefs about writing were related to the instructional practices they reportedly applied, and textbooks along with school guidelines played a prominent role in shaping their overall writing program. Teachers’ programs emphasized product-based instruction, but also placed considerable emphasis on writing process and content. They further indicated an average writing class lasted 69 min, but almost 80 % of teachers indicated they taught writing only once every 2–4 weeks, raising a concern about amount and timing of writing instruction. Consistent with social/cultural theory, Chinese writing teachers in these three urban locations evidenced differences on almost every variable studied. We expected such differences as macro-level features involving government and educational policy varied across locations. The observed differences were mostly a matter of degree (i.e., teachers applied certain practices more or less frequently) versus a more general difference in how writing was taught.
KeywordsWriting Writing instruction Survey China
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