George hillocks teaching writing as reflective practice theory

His many publications illustrate this commitment to the classroom.

George hillocks teaching writing as reflective practice theory

Dominant instructional activities Teacher lectures; students memorise material for tests Student-selected reading, student-selected projects, discovery learning Teacher-guided participation in both small-and large-group work; recording and analysing individual student progress; explicit assistance to reach higher levels of competence Who is responsible if student does not progress?

Often, family or social conditions are at fault. The more capable others: What Is Learned Must Be Taught An important argument in educational practice today centres on the debate of whether learning can proceed naturally and without much intervention or whether what is learned must be taught.

george hillocks teaching writing as reflective practice theory

While we agree that creating an environment in which kids will naturally grow and learn is attractive, both Hillocks and Vygotsky would maintain that teachers who believe or enact only this vision are letting themselves off the hook.

Both argue that anything that is learned must be actively taught. We make thousands of teaching decisions a day and all the decisions we make are theoretical, based on what we value, on what we think we are doing or should be doing, and on what we think will work toward those purposes.

We want our decisions to work to support learning for all of our kids, even though some didn't do the reading, some did it and have no clue, some are five chapters ahead, and all are at widely different skill levels. What can we do so that our teaching is effective for all of our students in ways that work and make sense to us and to the kids?

How can we teach so they can understand the purpose and use of what we do together in class, so they can all develop new abilities built on the skills they already possess, and so they can understand a higher purpose, pattern, and sense to classroom work?

Powerful Teaching George Hillocks maintains that teachers should and can possess specialised knowledge of students, of particular content and tasks, and of how to represent and teach this knowledge. In other words, when we teach, we teach something to somebody.

We need to know both our subject and student. We need to know how to teach in general, and in particular situations with the particular skills called for in that situation or with that text.

Shulman argues that there is a knowledge base for teaching and that it includes the following: When we know these things, then theory allows practices to stem in a wide-awake way from an articulate and unified set of principles.

George Hillocks, Teaching Writing as Reflective Practice | Exam. Play.

These principles can then lead us to scrutinise our teaching and to up the ante on it, pushing us forward to more powerful teaching.

A Theoretical Perspective When you assign a task and the students successfully complete it without help, they could already do it.

They have been taught nothing. What a child can do alone and unassisted is a task that lies in what Vygotsky calls the zone of actual development ZAD. When a teacher assigns a task and the students are able to do it, the task is within the ZAD.

They have already been taught and have mastered the skills involved in that task. I remember many times in my own teaching career when I made such an assignment and exulted at my teaching prowess when the most excellent projects were submitted.

Vygotsky wouldn't have been so sanguine. He would say that the kids could already do what I asked them to do, and I had taught them nothing. The place where instruction and learning can take place is the zone of proximal development ZPD.

Learning occurs in this cognitive region, which lies just beyond what the child can do alone. Anything that the child can learn with the assistance and support of a teacher, peers, and the instructional environment is said to lie within the ZPD.

A child's new capacities can only be developed in the ZPD through collaboration in actual, concrete, situated activities with an adult or more capable peer. With enough assisted practice, the child internalises the strategies and language for completing this task, which then becomes part of the child's psychology and personal problem-solving repertoire.

When this is achieved, the strategy then enters the student's zone of actual development, because she is now able to successfully complete the task alone and without help and to apply this knowledge to new situations she may encounter. Of course, there are assignments and tasks that lie beyond the ZPD, and even with expert assistance the student is incapable of completing the task.

I have unwittingly given many assignments and assigned many books during my career that were beyond the ZPD of most of my students.

george hillocks teaching writing as reflective practice theory

Such assignments, no matter what the curriculum might proclaim, are acts of hopelessness that lead to frustration. In fact, such texts are designated by Analytical and Informal Reading Inventories to be at the student's frustrational reading level.

Vygotsky viewed teaching as leading development instead of responding to it, if teaching is in the ZPD.


Texts at the independent level are those the student can read alone and are therefore in the ZAD. Texts at the instructional level are those that students can read with help, and through which students will learn new content and new procedures of reading because the demands of reading that book lie in the ZPD — they can be learned with the appropriate assistance.

These are the kinds of texts students need to be reading.Teaching Writing As Reflective Hillocks, Jr. New York: Teachers Vygotsky’s theory is central to writing process pedagogy, too.

Dur-ing writing workshops, students to characterize George Hillocks, Jr., as clinical and bloodless. Port Manteaux churns out silly new words when you feed it an idea or two. Enter a word (or two) above and you'll get back a bunch of portmanteaux created by jamming together words that are conceptually related to your inputs..

For example, enter "giraffe" and you'll get . Rogoff, Matusov, and White () argue that ‘coherent patterns of instructional practices are based on instructional models, and instructional models are based on theoretical perspectives on learning'. TEACHING WRITING AS REFLECTIVE PRACTICE (). George Hillocks Introduction.

Writing is a recursive process that requires the reconstruction of text already written, so that what we add connects appropriately with what has proceeded.

MyRead – Scaffolding Learning

George Hillocks Jr. is a professor of the Department of Education and English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago. In , he was published in the American Journal of Education for his research in the various modes of writing initiativeblog.comks researched the various pedagogical methods of composition and outlined what worked and what failed.

George Hillocks, Jr. is Professor Emeritus, departments of Education and English Language and Literature, The University of Chicago.

He and his MAT students have taught writing in Chicago schools for over twenty-five years.

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