Re-visiting the Reluctant Writer: Exploring the writing-composing behaviours of boys and girls in a Year Two class, contextualized through the use of pupil perspectives
Disparities between the performance of boys and girls in school writing assessments continues to be a focus in current discourse (Alexander, 2016). Following on from an earlier study with Reception children (Hadley, 2015), this project sought to investigate the cognitive-behavioural implications for next-level boy and girl writers of the ‘multi-conscious manoeuvring of content and form’ involved in composition (Meek Spencer, 2001, p.10). Three boys and girls in a year two class were observed engaging in independent writing. Focus group discussions before and after this activity contextualized the children’s performances via ‘reflective conversation with the situation’ (Schön, 1983, p.77). Findings broadly suggested a lack of reluctance on the part of the boys who exhibited the ‘rapid-switcher’ writer-profile more commonly associated with the most successful writers (Jones, 2007). Transcriptional considerations were pre-eminent in the mindsets of all the writers with minimal negative impact on ideation for either gender.