Now, writing! Improving written expression to guarantee equality across students
The goal of the project was to make a positive impact on the current written composition performance of students at compulsory-education levels attending schools in disadvantaged areas. The underlying assumption was that written composition is part of students’ basic competencies and must be enhanced from the initial school levels upwards, in order to ensure equal opportunities. The project’s main goal was realized via three specific aims: (1) to generate knowledge about writing development in disadvantaged contexts; (2) to provide empirical and pedagogical evidence on educational practices that are most effective for the written composition of school and academic discourse genres; and (3) to contribute to set the bases for the teaching of scientific and technical skills at all educational levels, in line with one the priority goals of the “Estrategia Española de Ciencia y Tecnología y de Investigación”.
We implemented a mixed-methods approach (quantitative-qualitative) based on a series of intervention studies that were carried out across levels of compulsory education, which was complemented by systematic observations and in-depth interviews to a subsample. Two experimental groups and one control group received the interventions, which consisted of pre-test/post-test and maintenance testing points.
One experimental group reflected on the use of grammar for writing, while the other group was taught self-regulation strategies for written composition. All groups were taught to write discourse genres typical of school and academia. Participating teachers were specifically trained to carry out the interventions. Findings from this project have been disseminated in several national and international conferences and peer-reviewed journals.