Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Werderich, Donna E.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Literacy and Elementary Education


Elementary education; Composition (Language arts)--Study and teaching (Elementary)--Research; Elementary school teachers--Self-rating of--Research; English language--Composition and exercises--Research; Teacher effectiveness--Evaluation--Research


This mixed-methods study focused on first, second, and third grade elementary teachers from a Northwest Suburban Chicago school district, who were fully implementing the Being a Writer (Developmental Studies Center, 2007) program for the first time in their classrooms. The Being a Writer program provides teachers with daily writing lesson plans in addition to mentor texts that serve as proficient writing models for students. The quantitative portion of the study included administering pre-and post-study surveys to 11 teacher participants. The four survey components were a Demographic Information questionnaire (Graham et al., 2001), the Teaching Efficacy Scale for Writing (Graham et al., 2001), the Writing Orientation Survey (Graham et al.), and the Teaching Writing Survey (Graham et al.). Three focal teachers also participated in a qualitative multiple case study. The qualitative portion of the study included individual teacher interviews, classroom writing lesson and workshop observations, teacher self-reports, and document collection. A cross-case analysis was then conducted to examine similarities and differences across the three focal participants' data. The quantitative findings indicated there were no statistically significant changes in either the teachers' self-efficacy for teaching writing or their beliefs about teaching writing. One statistically significant change between the pre- and post-study survey results suggested that teachers assessed student writing less often after they implemented Being a Writer. However, the qualitative findings indicated that two of the focal teachers' personal self-efficacy for teaching writing increased during this study. All three focal teachers' beliefs about teaching writing fluctuated between a Correct Writing and a Natural Learning belief orientation as they implemented Being a Writer. Focal teachers' beliefs about the value of having students choose their own topics to write about strengthened. Other qualitative findings suggested that all three of the focal participants increased how often they had their students plan their writing, and two participants increased how often they had students confer with peers about their writing. This study's findings indicate that teachers' self-efficacy for teaching writing, beliefs about teaching writing, and use of instructional writing strategies may change as they implement an evidence-based writing program.


Advisors: Donna Werderich.||Committee members: Susan L'Allier; Stephen Tonks.


331 pages




Northern Illinois University

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