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The teacher, the writing curriculum and computers: Planning and practice in pedagogy in two second-grade classrooms

, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, United States

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University . Awarded


This study describes the planning, teaching, and challenges of one classroom teacher during writing time in two second grade classrooms. The study looks at how this teacher planned for and implemented a writing curriculum in which computers played a role and what this teacher did in an attempt to influence children's development as writers. Data collected included four formal interviews with the teacher and observations over a period of two semesters of the teacher as she worked in the classroom and computer lab during writing time. The constant comparative method as described by Maykut and Morehouse (1994) was used to analyze the data. Analysis revealed that this teacher's approach was influenced by state standards and policy guidelines, as well as her early experiences with literacy. In the lab, she focused on helping students develop keyboarding skills through keyboarding exercises, a computer game, and occasional word-proceeding of writing pieces done in the classroom. In the classroom she used a routine that consisted of three pre-writing activities. These involved students in reading materials related to the topic, brainstorming ideas they recalled, mapping relationships among brainstormed ideas, and writing group and individual accounts of their reading. Her approach to teaching in the city was quite similar to the approach she used in the county school. It differed insofar as in the county school she introduced the students to using the computer to conduct information searches about topics in the official state curriculum. Among the challenges she identified in her teaching were time and management problems. Based on these findings, the study identified four foci that might contribute to more effective use of computers in writing instruction. These include the teacher conceptions of literacy, effective planning, effective implementation and classroom management.


Conrad, D.J. The teacher, the writing curriculum and computers: Planning and practice in pedagogy in two second-grade classrooms. Ph.D. thesis, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Retrieved March 27, 2019 from .

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