Preparing Transitioning
Adult Education Students
for Success with
Postsecondary Writing
Peggy McGuire
Center for Literacy, Education
& Employment (CLEE)
University of Tennessee
WORKSHOP OBJECTIVES: Participants will
* Identify the kinds of writing (genres) that teachers can teach to
meet the kinds of writing purposes (rhetorical goals) that their
students may face as they transition to postsecondary coursework;
* Explore the EFF Standard Convey Ideas in Writing and how its
research-based description of the process of competent writing
performance can guide instruction at the postsecondary transition
level;
* Engage in activities that they can use to encourage students to
Convey Ideas in Writing for meaningful transition-related purposes;
* Try out tools and successful strategies for planning and
conducting writing activities with students preparing for transition
to postsecondary education.
During a 2009 “Adult Readiness
Roundtable” co-sponsored by the Council for
Advancement of Adult Literacy and the
National Center on Education and the
Economy, roundtable participants
(representatives of 20 “exemplary” adulteducation-for-work programs from all over
the country) agreed that in their experience
the greatest barrier adult education
students face in making successful
transitions is mastering college-level
writing.
PROPOSITION:
We Can Teach
-- strategies for identifying writing purposes
and tasks/contexts relevant to postsecondary
education (“rhetorical goals”)
-- strategies for identifying writing genres appropriate to
the rhetorical goals to be addressed
-- strategies for generating content for writing.
-- application of the full writing process (organize, draft,
revise) at the transition level to reach rhetorical goals
.
Writing Purposes,
Audiences, Tasks, Contexts –
and the Writing Genres that
“Fit” Them
THE WHY AND WHAT
PROMPT:
“Postsecondary Writing”
Writing in
Postsecondary Education
What do we know
* about writing purposes?
* about writing tasks?
* about writing contexts?
For the purposes of this session::
“Writing in
Postsecondary Education” =
writing required in entry-level,
credit-bearing academic college
courses and workforce training
ATLAS Instructional Practices
Alignment:
College Faculty Responses with
Relevance to Writing
Marchwick, K., Johnson, K. A., & Parrish, B. (2008).
ATLAS Instructional Practices Alignment Survey. Retrieved
October 21, 2010, from
http://www.hamline.edu/education/adult/atlas/resources/sur
veys/FY08_Alignment_Proje.pdf
ON WRITING ASSIGNMENTS
33% report assigning academic
research papers
A significant number use short-answer
assessment
Nearly 2/3 of assignments are 2-3
pages
ON CRITICAL THINKING:
52.6% report that Synthesizing information from
multiple texts when reading is Very or Extremely
Important
55.2% report Ability to synthesize information
from lecture with other sources of information
such as textbooks is Very or Extremely Important
56.7% report that Summarizing, paraphrasing,
and synthesizing information from outside
sources for writing is Very or Extremely Important
ON NOTE-TAKING
48.6% report Taking notes on
information read is Very or Extremely
Important
57.8% report that Taking notes
effectively during teacher-centered
lectures is Very or Extremely Important
In Summary, postsecondary
instructors expect students to
*Write up results of research
*Write to answer test questions
*Write to state and defend a position
*Write to evidence ability to think critically
about, analyze, synthesize and draw
conclusions from information
*Write to take notes from text and lecture
Council of Chief State School
Officers and the National
Governors Association (2010 ).
The Common Core State
Standards for English Language
Arts & Literacy in
History/Social Studies, Science,
and Technical Subjects.
THE COMMON CORE: College- and
career-ready students can
1) write academic and research essays as
well as shorter-form responses to
prompts,
2) demonstrate understanding of ideas
and the ability to think critically about
them,
THE COMMON CORE: College- and
career-ready students can
3) construct and defend arguments, and
4) produce various work-related texts on
demand.
THE 2014 GED EXAM:
High School Equivalency
+
Career and College Readiness
THE “CORE OF THE CORE”
AND THE 2014 GED:
The new GED is being designed to
measure – provide evidence of -- the
knowledge and skills most strongly
correlated with success in career and
college as defined by the Common
Core and other state standard systems
(TX, VA)
“Postsecondary Writing” and
The 2014 GED Test
Writing in the new GED will
better reflect the kind of writing
that students are likely to be
called upon to accomplish in
college
Writing Requirements in
The 2014 GED Test
* Writing will be required in the Language
Arts, Social Studies and Science Tests
* “The essay” will be replaced by short (@
10 minutes) and extended (@ 25 minutes)
responses to “stimulus material”
* “Fill in blanks” will be followed by a
prompt asking for a few sentences to
explain reasoning
Writing Requirements in
The 2014 GED Test
* Integrating writing with reading
and understanding
* Writing in real-world contexts (text
75% nonfiction, 400-900 words
passage length)
Writing Requirements in
The 2014 GED Test
2014 GED test items will ask
examinees to read one or more texts
(“stimulus”), and then to use writing
to
* ANALYZE
* ARGUE
* SUPPORT
Writing Requirements in
The 2014 GED Test
Writing about content (“themes”) in
primary/secondary text sources and
graphics – 20th century and post-9-11
US History, Civics/Government,
Economics, Geography and the world,
environmental science, etc.
Writing Requirements in
The 2014 GED Test
* Writing to analyze/summarize ideas,
positions and structures
* Writing to interpret an author’s
purpose
* And
Writing Requirements in
The 2014 GED Test
Writing to identify and evaluate
arguments/claims of others, or to
develop own argument, using textbased evidence as support – often from
more than one text
Writing Requirements in
The 2014 GED Test
Simulating real-life editing (applying
knowledge of the conventions of
standard written English to revise text)
Writing Requirements in
The 2014 GED Test
In other words, candidates will be asked to
1) draw ideas from information they read,
and then
2) demonstrate ability to analyze, explain,
sequence, evaluate, compare, contrast and
synthesize those ideas
3) by writing primarily informational
and/or persuasive text.
GENRE THEORY
Dean, D. (2008). Genre Theory: Teaching,
Writing and Being. Washington, DC:
National Council of Teachers of English.
Effective writers
1) are aware that not all writing is the same;
2) choose and use different kinds (genres) of
writing to meet different goals and suit
different tasks, audiences, and contexts;
GENRE THEORY
Effective writers
3) know that each writing genre, whether to
meet the purposes of a postsecondary course
or a need in another part of life, will have its
own language and conventions (Dean,
2008).
IMPLICATIONS:
Our students need to know, and we can
teach them,
-- how to clarify the purposes, audiences and contexts
(“rhetorical goals”) for any writing assignment.
-- how to construct different genres of writing, especially
those in the categories of informational and persuasive.
-- how to choose and use the “right” writing genres to fit
the rhetorical goals of the writing
-- how to apply their knowledge of writing conventions in
the act of revision
The Writing Process and
Teaching/ Learning
Strategies:
THE HOW
The COMMON CORE developers also say
1) high-quality writing results from careful
planning, drafting, and meaningful
revising.
2) the discipline used to create, reshape,
and polish pieces of writing prepares
students for occasions when they must
write quickly and clearly on demand,
whether in the workplace or in college.
And the 2014 GED will reflect this:
written responses will be scored for
* awareness of audience and purpose +
organization, development and progression
of ideas (ER Scoring Rubric Pt. 2 – 2 points)
* ability to apply conventions of standard
written English (ER Scoring Rubric Pt. 3 –
2 points)
As well as
* writing as a response to reading -understanding of/thinking about content +
ability to cite specific and relevant evidence
from text to support arguments (ER
Scoring Rubric Pt. 1 – 3 points)
Key Components of
the Writing Process
1. Planning
Attention to writing purpose
Attention to audience
Writing to think (generating ideas)
Thinking to write (organizing ideas)
2. Generating Text
3. Attending to Writing
Conventions
Grammar
Sentence Structure
Spelling
Punctuation
Etc.
4. Revising Text
Applying knowledge of content
Applying knowledge of conventions
PROPOSITION:
We Can Teach
-- strategies for identifying writing purposes
and tasks/contexts relevant to postsecondary
education (“rhetorical goals”)
-- strategies for identifying writing genres appropriate to
the rhetorical goals to be addressed
-- strategies for generating content for writing.
-- application of the full writing process (organize, draft,
revise) at the transition level to reach rhetorical goals
.
Planning an
Instructional Activity:
How to Write a
Text-Based Argument
Contact info
Peggy McGuire
[email protected]
717-964-1341
Please don’t forget to complete
a Workshop Evaluation
and
Many thanks for attending
“Preparing Transitioning
Adult Education Students
for Success with
Postsecondary Writing”
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Writing Requirements in The 2014 GED Test