The Writing Achievement, Metacognitive Knowledge of Writing and Motivation of Middle-School Students with Learning Difficulties
This chapter reports on the writing achievement, writing-related metacognition and motivation of students with learning difficulties. The students were in the middle years of schooling (Years 5, 6 and 7 in primary school and Years 8 and 9 in English in high school). The study examined how the students performed at pre-implementation, post-implementation and follow-up following an intervention based on the WriteIdeas Model that was provided by their teachers. The study–s outcomes indicated that the teachers were effective in implementing units and lessons involving the WriteIdeas Model and that the students– writing achievement and metacognitive knowledge about themselves as writers were positively influenced.
Our special thanks go to Robyn Miller, one of the authors of this chapter and the WriteIdeas Project Manager, for undertaking the statistical analyses, and to Dr. Asad Khan and Dr. Michelle Haynes for statistical advice. This research was funded by the Australian Research Council, Grant Number DP0344749.
Appraisement is a process of data collection regarding the achievement and needs of students who may have learning difficulties. At the time of writing it was used in Queensland, Australia by schools to identify the educational support requirements of individual students. The process is undertaken to recommend the level and kind of support needed, beyond that provided by the regular educational program in the school, to help these students to access the curriculum more effectively, and to meet achievement expectations consistent with their age cohort.
Within the WriteIdeas project, students with developmental disabilities may be those with congenital disabilities, such as intellectual disabilities, autism, cerebral palsy, developmental apraxia and specific language disorders. Difficulties may also be the result of impairments associated with amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), brain injury, spinal cord injury or stroke.
The World Health Organization defines disabilities as a general term that comprises three aspects <http://www.who.int/topics/disabilities/en/index.html>. These are impairments, which refer to problems in body function or structure; activity limitations, which refer to difficulties experienced by individuals in completing tasks or actions in everyday life and participation restrictions, whereby individuals have problems in their involvement in life and social situations. Disabilities may arise or are evident early in life and may continue across the lifespan. They include conditions such as intellectual disabilities, vision disabilities, hearing disabilities and physical disabilities.
This is a term used in Australia to describe students who experience problems in learning at school. These problems may be across the curriculum or in specific areas of learning, such as literacy or numeracy.
This refers to the measured performance of a student in an area of learning that is within the performance range of peers who are of the same age and in the same grade level.
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