The need for greater evidence regarding the teaching of writing in schools has become more evident as assessment results from a variety of tools have shown that writing is a skill with declining achievement across many western countries. This research proposes that both teachers’ linguistic understandings of writing and assessment practices of teachers are important variables with regards to raising achievement in writing for children in year 6-8. Research highlights lack of writing knowledge as important to writing success, however, there are no current measures of teacher linguistic knowledge. The gap between knowledge and practice in the classroom is well documented, writing practices are therefore an equally important measure to include in this study. This research will use an in-depth case study of one school and their writing practices in the upper primary sector and gain data through the use of interviews, observations and policy documents. This will be followed by a large scale email survey of New Zealand teachers providing data about their linguistic knowledge and writing practices. Results will provide essential understandings of how writing is being delivered within the New Zealand curriculum and guidance for the delivery of professional development and teacher training programmes.
I am a teacher with twenty years experience teaching from year 3 in primary school through to lecturing adults. Working throughout New Zealand in both high and low decile schools, I have also spent time teaching in England and the Middle East. I love travelling, learning about new cultures and being active. My newest adventure has been raising twin boys and my three year old daughter, and we make the most of living close to the mountains in Timaru.