Student Perceptions in Conferring: A Phenomenographic Exploration of Student Perceptions on Teacher-Student Writing Conferences
Date of Award
Doctor of Education in Secondary Education - English (Ed.D)
Dr. Darren Crovitz
Dr. Rachel Gaines
Dr. Anete Vásquez
This phenomenographic research explores how students perceive one-on-one (teacher-student) writing conferences. At least twice a year, I sit with my 9th-grade English students to discuss their writing. Together, we go over their last writing assignment. I coach them to make their writing better while pointing out positive elements of their writing. I check for understanding by having the students verbally repeat a summary of their conference. While I feel connected to the students and their writing by conferring, I have rarely considered what they thought about the conference. After our conference, do they feel like they truly learned something? I want to know their thoughts about how to make conferring about writing better for them. The research explores 9th-grade student perceptions of writing conferences in a rural Georgia high school. I used my own students for this research, which included 22 participants. My participants completed surveys after one writing conference. Participants answered a list of questions, both open-ended and closed-ended questions, about their conferring experience. By studying these participant surveys, I determined how students perceived teacher-student writing conferences. I interviewed five participants to seek further clarification of the overall survey answers.
Questions I answered included:
1. What are students' overall perceptions about writing conferences?
2. What elements (if any) of writing conferences do students find useful?
3. According to students, what can teachers do to make writing conferences more useful for students?