The research behind Process Writing and SRSD
Process writing is one of these terms that's kind of ubiquitous in the sense that it means something to whoever has adopted it, but in a general way process writing is about engaging in the processes involved in writing, which would include planning, drafting, evaluating, revising, editing and sharing. Now it's also become synonymous in many ways with writer's workshop. The one thing that's missing is that you don't have systematic and explicit instruction in terms of how to carry out the processes and so the sumption is, is that, well, you know, kids will learn how to do that kind of on their own and our experience is that they don't. That most kids need some guidance in terms of doing this. And so when we've done studies where we've taken SRSD and we've integrated into writer's workshop, we get a huge affect. You know, more than you'd get with writer's workshop and more than you'd get with strategy instruction alone and it's not surprising. You need a good context in which strategy, instruction, arrests RSD is going to work.
Most of our research and much of other people's research has been done in classrooms using the writing process approach and it has integrated well into the writer's workshop. It has meant changes in how writers workshop is perceived at 30 years of research shows us clearly and emphatically that the two put together have worked beautifully to see a concerted developmental approach to writing instruction that had goals in k one, two through 12, and that also left room to flex to individual students' needs and strengths to see a coherent, consistent approach across the genres and within John Aras to see that and to think that SRSD could have a role to play in making that happen in schools. That is a dream
in 2006. Karen and Steve conducted this study which takes a look at writing workshop by itself as well as in combination with SRSD. Let's look at the results. These charts compare the difference of writer's workshop by itself. Noted here in red and writers' workshop with SRSD in blue. Here we're looking at the number of minutes of planning time on the pretest. Both sets of students are at point two minutes of planning after instruction. Writer's workshop remain the same, whereas combined with SRSD, it went up to five minutes, but the most important aspect of learning is maintenance and you see here that over time students with just writer's workshop went down from the pretest, but when combined with SRSD, it leveled off at a healthy four minutes. Let's look at the number of words used in their essays. In the pretest and the post test. The numbers are better when combined with SRSD, but in that all important maintenance is where we get the real payoff. Same with story elements used. It's easy to see the gains and maintenance achieve when writers workshop is combined with Srsd. Finally, we end each mentor series episode with an SRSD success story. This one is from SRSD researcher Deborah mccowen.
I was working with the teacher who loved writing and had been a journalist and very involved in the writing movement, and she didn't really want to do this work. She didn't want to do this very structured srsd kind of intervention because she had a writing program that she developed herself and it was working for her students. Her students love to write, so she wasn't really interested in what I had. She participated grudgingly, I think just to pick apart what was wrong with it and it ended up that she saw that it really was effective for some of her students who hadn't quite gotten to the point where were they loved writing as much as the rest of the class and she saw real changes and she can tell a great story about that. She believed in that so much that she now studies under me.