Developing a Writing Framework to Guide Students’ Writing in Geography, pp. 4 of 7

Leveraging on Paul’s Wheel of Reasoning (Paul and Elder, 2010) and Neighbour’s Core Questions (Neighbour, 1992), we designed a writing frame to sharpen students’ critical thinking skills, and guide geographical writing by helping our students to see a logical progression to answering questions. We also sought to heighten their awareness of the need to apply the geographical concepts of ‘Place’ and ‘Space’ in their writing. The framework is anchored upon Paul’s Wheel of Reasoning with a focus on the three elements of concept, inference, point of view or perspective and all five Neighbour’s Core Questions.

This strategy was inspired by the use of writing frames developed by the Extending Literacy Project by Exeter University (EXEL) which helped students to use ‘generic structures’ of recount, report, explanation and discussion until they become familiar enough with these structures to assimilate them into their writing repertoire (Lambert & Balderstone, 2010). The writing frame is shown         in Figure 1 below.

Research Methodology

The methodology used in this small-scale study is ‘action research’ which includes the involvement of classroom teachers. In line with the Research Onion model proposed by Saunders et al. (2012), action research is considered a mixed research method. Descombe (1998, p. 58) suggests that ‘action research’ is practical; it is for a real classroom to tackle a real problem in order to directly improve practices (Roberts, 2000).

An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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