Date of Award

8-9-2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Lucy Stanovick, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Susan A. Rieg, Ed. D.

Third Advisor

Douglas Lare, Ed. D.

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to examine three questions related to student writing apprehension and teacher behavior and attitude in a rural Pennsylvania high school. The questions were as follows. First, is the Willower Pupil Control Ideology (PCI) a reproducible instrument that predicts teacher behaviors in the classroom on a continuum from custodial to humanistic? Second, is there a relationship between teacher behaviors as measured by the PCI and student writing apprehension as measured by changes in the Daly/Miller Writing Apprehension Survey (WAS)? Finally, did students report other factors which had an effect on their willingness to write? The results of the study support the idea that Willower’s PCI was a generally useful psychometric which predicts the likelihood of humanistic or custodial and direct or indirect behaviors by teachers. Student writing apprehension increased over the sampled population (n=405), with no differential effects found among the 25 classes studied, a result that is consistent with overall custodial behavior and direct teacher-student interactions . Systematic writing instruction, teacher modeling of writing, and affective support in the classroom were not common or significant elements in the curriculum of the high school in this study, according to observed and student-reported data.

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