Professional development of teachers in the implementation of a strategy-focused writing intervention program for elementary students

Monica Koster*, Renske Bouwer, Huub van den Bergh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In this study we examined the effectiveness of Tekster [Texter], a comprehensive program for writing for the upper elementary grades, combining strategy instruction, text structure instruction, and the teaching of self-regulation skills with observational learning, explicit instruction, and (guided) practice to address both the focus of instruction (what is taught) and the mode of instruction (how it is taught). Further, we investigated the added value of a professional development program for teachers on the effectiveness and implementation of the intervention in the classroom, by adopting a teachers-training-teachers approach. One group of teachers (N = 31) was trained by experts, and subsequently trained their colleagues (N = 37). Quasi-experimental results showed that students’ writing performance improved after the intervention (ES = 0.55), while generalizing over tasks, students, and teachers. Further, teachers became more positive and felt more efficacious about teaching writing after the intervention. There were no differences between trainers and trainees, which provides evidence for the spillover effect of professional development. To get more insight in how teachers implemented the intervention in their classroom and in the social validity of the intervention and the teachers-training-teachers approach, we triangulated post-intervention questionnaires with classroom observations and interviews. This mixed methods approach revealed that both trainers and trainees were highly satisfied with the program and easily adapted their focus of instruction. However, for adjusting the mode of instruction more teacher support seems to be needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
Volume49
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017

Keywords

  • Elementary students
  • Mixed methods
  • Professional development
  • Strategy instruction
  • Teaching writing

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