Writing their futures: Students' stories of development and difference



Publication Details

Matruglio, E. & Jones, P. (2020). Writing their futures: Students' stories of development and difference. In H. Chen, D. Myhill & H. Lewis (Eds.), Developing Writers Across the Primary and Secondary Years: Growing into Writing (pp. 173-193). London: Routledge.


This chapter explores the trajectory of development in literacy practices and demands as students progress from late primary through the first four years of secondary school in Australia. It presents a case study located in one particular secondary school and its feeder primary school. We draw on data collected in class observations, student work samples, and interviews with students and teachers to explore the curriculum as it is enacted. The data set reveals several patterns, including disciplinary differences in the reading and writing practices of students, a future-oriented approach to teaching literacy as preparatory for student needs in future schooling and testing, and an explicit focus on teaching certain elements of writing. Analysis also reveals an apparent difference in focus on the teaching, learning, and practising of writing across subjects and years. These findings point to important avenues for future research as well as the urgent need to consider an integrated language pedagogy which is able to account for language choices across modes of speaking, reading, and writing that have fidelity to the disciplines rather than viewing these aspects of language use separately.

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