Research in Writing: Implications for Adult Literacy Education


Marilyn K. Gillespie
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This resource is chapter three, volume 2 in the NCSALL publication, Review of Adult Learning and Literacy. It is a meta analysis of various studies and trends about the "forgotten of the three R's-writing." It provides a history on the process of composing, citing changes in assumptions about those who cannot write, the advent of the sociocultural view of writing, influence of new literacy studies, attention to ELA, the impact of handwriting and spelling in the writing process, and workplace writing. The author describes progress in understanding writing as a cognitive process and how best to teach it. She cites the work of the National Writing Project and the impact research in writing has had on the field of adult education, giving examples from the field. The author cites promising trends, including project-based instruction, Equipped for the Future and its contextual learning, and technology-based communication. The author concludes the chapter with implications for research, practice, and policy. Writing remains an under researched field.

What the experts say

Gillespie, in her chapter, "Research in writing: Implications for Adult Literacy Education,"encapsulates theoretical frameworks for adult writing instruction as well as provides a comprehensive summary of research. The reference list is thorough with an excellent blending of theoretical, descriptive, and experimental citation. The examples used to illustrate points are well chosen. The chapter is informative as well as enjoyable reading.

This chapter has excellent value for both advanced undergraduate and graduate study in adult education as well as teacher education, educational psychology, educational leadership, and higher education. The section on "Implications for Research, Policy, and Practice" has applications beyond the college classroom. I highly recommend this chapter for those interested in the field of adult education.

This should be valuable to teachers who do not know the background of adult students in literacy they encounter. However, it will provide no suggestions about what to do in classrooms for better results.

Methods the resource used to collect and analyze the data for the research: Meta analysis of the literature

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