Education has remained the same since 1892, known as the Old School of education. “The central idea is to have students memorize facts and definitions, to make sure that skills are “drilled into” them” (Kohn, 2000, p. 3). Academic fields are taught separately where big things are broken down into bits, which are then taught in a specific sequence. This model includes traditional grades, plenty of tests and quizzes, strict (punitive) discipline, competition, and lots of homework. In today’s world, “anything that deviates from this model is often reviled as a fad, with special scorn reserved for efforts to teach social skills or address students’ feelings, to have students learn from one another, to use nontraditional ways of assessing what they can do, as well as to adopt bilingual education, a multicultural curriculum, or a structure that brings together students of different ages or abilities” (Kohn, 2000, p. 3). Writing instruction is becoming increasingly product-oriented, a trend that is often eclipsing process approaches and writing for a variety of purposes and functions. Janet Emig (1971) and researchers throughout the eighties created a paradigm shift that moved writing instruction from a product to a process orientation (Scherff & Piazza, 2005, p. 272).
Today, classroom teachers are hearing more and more from the public about the need for accountability, the importance of standards, and the role of assessment. School districts hear calls from employers wanting authentic performance tasks, and learning opportunities which reflect what students will encounter once they enter the work place. State-wide and district-wide testing programs require more extensive samples of writing performance from stu...
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...ved student writing and creates a sense of audience which tends to motivate students to put forth more effort into their own written communication (Duke & Sanchez, 2001, p. 31). When students engage in peer review, they are talking about content and providing authentic assessment opportunities of both their thinking and speaking skills. Through this concept students are checking their knowledge, identifying gaps in thinking and understanding, helping each other learn to use the language of the content area accurately and effectively, and having the importance of knowledge being reinforced for them on a daily basis (Duke & Sanchez, 2001, p. 37). Duke (2011) reports, “Teachers who use writing on a consistent basis report that their class discussions are richer, that students are more thoughtful in their responses, and that retention of information improves” (forward).
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