Reflexive writing dialogues: Elementary students’ perceptions and performances as writers during classroom experiences

Publication Name

Assessing Writing


The ways in which we approach the process of writing can tell us much about our confidence, linguistic and textual knowledge, and our desire to please self or others through language. School writing often focuses on the process and product of writing, rather than the conditions that shape how we make decisions when writing for an authentic purpose and audience. This paper uses reflexivity theory, including an innovative Reflexive Writing Instrument (RWI), along with critical discourse analysis, to interrogate elementary students’ decisions-making modes in writing and how these align with teachers’ views, classroom experiences and writing outcomes. Findings show that students can have different perceptions than their teachers about their approach to writing, but the conditions that teachers enable can influence students’ decision-making modes. We argue that the RWI can be used to prompt reflexive writing dialogues so that formative assessment can be nuanced to support individual students’ reflexive writing modes, ensuring improved results and enjoyment of writing.

Open Access Status

This publication may be available as open access



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Funding Sponsor

Australian Research Council



Link to publisher version (DOI)