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Remediating Secondary Alternative School Students’ Academic Outcomes Using The Writing And Sharing Connections Process, Laura Karen Kildare
Given steady increase in numbers of students enrolled in alternative schools (U.S. Department of Education, 2003, 2008), a lack of emphasis on academic gains, as opposed to behavior control (Fuchs, Fuchs, & Stecker, 2010), and the well-documented school-to-prison pipeline for students considered school behavior problems (Wald & Losen, 2003), there is a need to establish viable, engaging instructional approaches with youth in alternative school settings. This study was designed to investigate effects on secondary alternative students’ attitudes toward writing and their ability to express complex ideas in writing, as a function of implementation of Writing and Sharing Connections (W&SC) (Wooten, 2009). W&SC, based on constructivist philosophy, uses children’s literature to engage learners, as they learn to write increasingly sophisticated connections among content presented in class and beyond.
Significant attrition resulted in low sample sizes (W&SC group n = 7; control, n = 4). Participants were aged 14 to 18; 10 were male. Repeated measures analyses of variance with one between subjects factor (condition) and one within subjects factor (pre-post) were conducted for the attitude measure (Thought Bubbles, Zambo, 2006) and the writing measures (Woodcock Johnson III, WJIII, writing subtests) (Woodcock, McGrew, & Mather, 2001). Results indicate no significant differences between pre and post test scores for W&SC and ...