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Teachers' Psychological Presence on Students' Writing-Task Engagement

Cheryl L. Spaulding
The Journal of Educational Research
Vol. 88, No. 4 (Mar. - Apr., 1995), pp. 210-219
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27541977
Page Count: 10
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Teachers' Psychological Presence on Students' Writing-Task Engagement
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Abstract

An investigation of the effects of varying degrees of psychological presence of teachers on the writing-task engagement of middle school students reporting low and high levels of linguistic self-efficacy was conducted in this study. Four major variables were included in the design: (a) degree of psychological presence of the teacher (manipulated by having students write to the teacher or to the researcher), (b) students' reported level of linguistic self-efficacy (low or high), (c) students' gender, and (d) students' assignment to one of two teachers. The two major findings of this study were as follows: The teacher variable interacted with each of the other three independent variables (psychological presence of teacher in the writing situation, students' linguistic self-efficacy, and students' gender) to have a significant effect on students' writing task engagement; and students reporting a high level of linguistic competence were more engaged when writing to the researcher (lesser psychological presence of teacher), whereas students reporting a low level of linguistic competence were more engaged when writing to their teacher (greater psychological presence of teacher). Implications for future research on writing instruction and the teaching of writing are discussed.

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