Writing Development and Education Standards in Cross-national Perspective
- Tuesday 8 May 2018
2311 BD Leiden
The importance of writing ability for academic and career advancement is increasingly a focus of education research and policy globally. In response to concerns regarding students’ writing skills (e.g., National Commission on Writing, 2003; 2005; Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training, 2013), policymakers and curriculum designers have begun placing more emphasis on writing in nationwide academic standards (European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice, 2012; National Governors Association Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers, 2010). However, given the complexity of writing development as a contextual as well as an “individualistic and variable” activity (Graham, Harris, Kiuhara, and Fishman, 2017), representing the development of writing competence in standards that vary by grade level is challenging, and little is known regarding how educational systems vary in approaching this challenge. In response to calls for more worldwide writing research (Graham and Rijlaardsam, 2014), we undertake a cross-national examination of writing standards with the aim of informing policymakers, those in charge of the research and development of writing standards, and researchers interested in writing development, by comparing how three educational systems (in Denmark, Norway, and the US) have represented writing development in curricular standards. To that end, we ask, 1) How are grade-level distinctions articulated in standards for writing? 2) How are the developmental frameworks implicated in these distinctions related to theory and research on writing development? 3) How do these frameworks for writing development vary across educational systems?