Collaborative Creative Writing with High School Boys — Jude Arbuthnot, Westlake Boys' High School, New Zealand

  • Writing (2009-10)

For six weeks at the beginning of the school year in 2010, thirty Form Five (14–16 years old) students from Westlake Boys’ High School in Auckland, New Zealand participated in a creative writing project. The aim was to research whether collaborative writing with a peer made the boys more powerful, prolific and confident writers. The students were required to complete three writing tasks; the first independently, the second collaboratively, and the final piece independently for their IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) English Language coursework. Both qualitative data, in the form of survey and interviews, and quantitative data, in the form of a rubric of judgement criteria, were applied to the written work to compare the boys’ writing before and after working collaboratively in class. Results from the quantitative data indicated that the action did increase the volume of writing, the power and effect of the writing, and the confidence of the boys. The qualitative data generally supported these findings, but also highlighted a negative change in some individual boys’ attitudes to writing and the action itself.Read the full report.

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