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An exploration of my teaching practices when teaching writing to high school learners: a novice teachers’ self-study.

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The purpose of this study was to explore my experiences of teaching and learning of writing, as a novice teacher. My research questions were: What are my learning experiences of writing? What are my teaching experiences of writing? and How can knowing my experiences of writing enhance my teaching of writing? My study was guided by three key concepts, which are Socioculturalism, Pedagogy, and Culturally Responsive Teaching. Pertinent literature which underpinned this study, included the nature of being a life-long learner, the preparedness of novice teachers, how writing affects confidence and the teaching of writing. Taking a self-study approach enabled me to compose and analyse my experiences of teaching and learning of writing to become cognisant of the constructive and undesirable influences on my Pedagogy, with the hope of building a more effective, and meaningful Pedagogy. This methodology was apt for my study as I delved into my own experiences of learning, how I was taught writing and my own teaching of writing. In doing so was critical of how I was taught writing as well as my past and current teaching practices. I acknowledged that there is room for improvement and worked with critical friends to alter my practices. Data generation strategies stemmed from reflective practice and were inclusive of narrative journaling, lesson reflections, source document retrieval and critical friend conversations and peer reviews. As the study progressed, I explored various ways in which to improve my teaching of writing from what I had learned through revisiting and adjusting my teaching practices. Learning from my past and present experiences, enabled me to adapt my current teaching practices and to explore ways of being more responsive to my learners. The themes that emerged, through thematic analysis, are parental involvement, a supportive teaching and learning environment, pedagogic practices, and the use of teaching resources when teaching writing. This self-study journey has not just made me an improved teacher of writing, but more culturally relevant teacher overall. Being a meaningful teacher denotes that I need to be au fait with my learners, their lived experiences and the environments with which they are familiar, as well as how to communicate with them within a setting of supportiveness. New challenges mean fresh possibilities will continually arise and I will never stop questioning and trying to improve upon my Pedagogy.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.