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Call for schools to participate in research to help improve outcomes and motivate children as writers

Teacher and pupil

OU researchers are working on a £320,000 research project to develop teachers’ skills as writers to help improve pupils’ writing confidence and motivation.

Teresa Cremin, Professor of Literacy in the OU’s Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Languages, is working with Arvon and the University of Exeter on The Craft of Writing project.

The project is exploring how the opportunity for teachers to work with professional writers (across two weekend course and in ongoing Continuing Professional Development) might change:

  • their understanding of being a writer,
  • how they teach writing, and
  • improve children’s outcomes in writing

They will be encouraged to apply any new learning to their practice with children aged eight and nine years old. This randomised control trial will involve 2,800 pupils from 96 schools across the north of England.

The project, funded by the Education Endowment Foundation and the Royal Society of Arts, is part of the Learning About Culture programme and is one of five trials planned over the next two years to find out if different cultural learning approaches can help boost primary pupils’ achievement and their motivation and attitudes.

All five projects will be evaluated by a team of independent evaluators led by the University of London - Institute of Education and the Behavioural Insights Team. The evaluations will look at the impact on children’s learning and development, as well as how different approaches to delivery maximise the benefit to children and schools. Projects were chosen based on existing evidence to suggest that they might be likely to demonstrate an impact.

Each of the organisations delivering projects is seeking schools to take part in the trials in different parts of England, particularly those in areas where deprivation is high and arts participation is low. 

“This is a rare opportunity for deep, sustained professional development in the teaching of writing,” said Professor Cremin. The ‘teachers as writers’ residentials provide space for writing workshops, one-to-one tutorials with writers, and time to write, as well as reflecting on classroom consequences.”

Find out more about the Learning about Culture programme.

Read about Professor Teresa Cremin’s research.

For more information or to get involved contact the OU Research Associate on The Craft of Writing.

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