The Significance of Reflective Conversations for Young Writers

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mark R. Meacham (Creator)
Amy Vetter, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Purpose: For writing instruction, reflection has been an essential tool. Typically, educators ask students to reflect in a structured written, individual format. Less explored is the role that small and whole group reflective conversations have in fostering students’ understandings about writing. The purpose of this paper is to explore several conversations from a young writers’ camp to examine how three high school students engaged in four different kinds of reflective talk during the writing process. Design/methodology/approach: This paper draws from a larger qualitative study about how campers constructed and enacted their writer identities in a two-week young writers’ camp. Five researchers observed, video/audio recorded, engaged in interviews and collected artifacts with 58 campers for ten consecutive days. Qualitative analysis was used to examine how young writers (Grades 9-12) engaged in reflective talk to develop understandings about writing. Findings: Data illustrated that students engaged in four types of reflective talk: prospective, reflective-in-action, introspective and retrospective. The paper provides one example for each kind of reflective conversation and provides analysis related to how those conversations shaped campers’ understandings about writing. Originality/value: This paper illustrated how adolescent writers used prospective, reflective-in action, introspective and retrospective talk during conversations to tell their stories of learning about writing, a topic less studied in the field. This work offers insight into teaching students how to have such reflective conversations so that they are productive and supportive during writing practices.

Additional Information

English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 17(3), 228-244.
Language: English
Date: 2018
writing, English language arts, teaching writing, literacy teaching

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