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Becoming Brave Writers and Writing Teachers: Teachers Recognizing Emotional Dimensions of Writing and Transforming their Classroom Instruction

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Chapter Summary

Using a sociohistoric perspective that theorizes teaching as participation across practices (Dreier, 1999; Lave & Wenger, 1991; Scollon, 2001), this chapter explores affective dimensions of writing and teaching writing in three multi-month case studies—one each of an elementary, middle, and high school teacher engaged in writing groups outside of school. Each of the teachers repeatedly referenced the fear, vulnerability, and courage associated with writing and sharing writing across observational and interview data sources, resulting in an analytic focus on what it meant to be a “brave writer.” For Samantha, being a brave writer meant participating a community of writers, even when it was difficult; for Annette, it meant becoming vulnerable as a writer through topic choice and genre play, and as a writing teacher through sharing processes and products; and for Lisa, it meant having the courage to make significant revisions to writing she had worked hard on. In all three cases, writing transformed teachers’ classroom practices as they became more vulnerable in their classrooms by writing alongside students and providing more opportunities for students to revise and/or share writing.



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