Date of Award

Summer 2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Amy Barnhild

Second Advisor

Not Legible

Abstract

While there are many factors that may impact the learning and achievement of students, students’ perceptions and attitudes towards learning are particularly important. This is especially true for writing, which allows students to express their ideas creatively. This paper explores the perceptions towards writings by elementary school students in a suburban school in upstate New York and whether those perceptions differ across grade levels. Select students at each grade level were interviewed with open-ended questions about writing and their self-perception as writers. The author found that participants at each of the different grade levels all held similar beliefs of what they considered to be writing and what they didn’t consider to be writing. Older students tended to have a more complex understanding of writing than younger students. In terms of self-perception, confidence as writers tends to decrease over time, with kindergarten students being the most confident. This study aligns with previous research which argues that self-efficacy may differ depending on age, often decreasing over time.

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