What's 'write' for boys?: a case study examining factors that motivate Year Seven boys to write in the classroom

2017-02-17T00:25:06Z (GMT) by Gibbs, Jane
The purpose of this study was to investigate the so-called "gender gap" in boys' performance in writing, and to examine the conditions for boys' motivation to write and how this links to classroom teacher pedagogy. An analysis of writing of a small number of boys in one class at a large, multi-campus, independent school in Melbourne, Australia had revealed that this particular group of boys out-performed other Year 7 students of both genders at the school in 2009 National Assessment Program- Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) and Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS) results. The research project focused on a small group of Year 7 boys who participated in weekly writing classes conducted by the same teacher who had taught the 2009 cohort. This case study required the students to complete a weekly reflective journal, participate in a focus group interview and be observed in a writing class. The teacher was also interviewed. From this case-study I have drawn four main conclusions about what motivated these boys to write: 1) the teacher / student relationship was an important key when motivating boys to write in the classroom; 2) boys are motivated by the desire for good results; 3) enjoyment in the task of writing is a key factor in motivating boys to write and 4) boys can be motivated to write within an explicit teaching pedagogy.