The thoughts, perceptions and experiences of twelve year 5 and 6 male writers at a New Zealand primary school.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Education
This dissertation sought to investigate the thoughts, experiences, actions and responses of twelve boys from a New Zealand primary school to the act of writing. The gap in achievement levels within the area of writing between boys and girls has been well documented. Research and recommendations have been made to narrow this gap and to understand, address and improve the complex issue of boys and their writing. However, recent evidence suggests this remains an issue. Therefore, the voices of twelve male writers between the ages of nine and eleven were sought to investigate the research question; “What are the thoughts, perceptions and experiences of twelve Year 5 and 6 boys as writers?”
A variety of qualitative methods were used in this research project, including individual interviews, group discussions, participant observations and writing sessions. These were conducted at a New Zealand primary school over a five-week period. This study found that the boys placed considerable emphasis on the freedom, choice and ownership of the writing topics and content. The writing of stories and the social world of writing were also valued by these male writers. This study also identified differences between official writing, in the form of the school based curriculum writing, and the unofficial writing world of boys’ story writing. Furthermore, gender stereotypes and constructs were evident in boys’ perceptions of writing. Finally, the boys placed emphasis on the role of spelling and punctuation and the quantity of writing output.