DIGITAL MEDIA WRITING TOOLS: THE THEORY OF WRITING CURRICULA AND THE REALITY OF TEACHING PRACTICES
Within the practice of writing instruction, digital media tools have created new possibilities for learning and teaching methodologies (Aitchison & Lee, 2006; Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010), resulting in a positive learning attitude and outcome (Liu, Chen, & Chang, 2010; Laire, Casteleyn & Mottart, accepted). However, as stated by the National Council of Teaching (2010), these new writing opportunities - often researched, generating new teaching models, need new curriculum designs “supporting those models and creating models for teaching that curriculum”. Although research has often focused on the various positive teaching possibilities, the curricula representing these models of teaching are often less examined. This paper examines the various teaching models for writing via digital media represented within the curricula for secondary education. In this respect, the Flemish educational curricula can be seen as an illustrative case study, due to the various educational networks (including both publicly funded and run as well as privately run) thus allowing various teaching models throughout the networks. At first glance, it seems that the attainment targets encourage the use of digital media tools (Onderwijs Vlaanderen, 2015), yet teachers are still reluctant to introduce new teaching technology in their practices (Casteleyn & Mottart, 2010). Based on an extensive literature review of the various curricula - including the writing curricula of 30 Flemish schools - this paper scrutinizes the actual use of the attainment targets in accordance with the writing instruction. Subsequently, this paper hopes to come to a better understanding of the actual teaching models at work and how they differ from the preferred use of digital media within writing instruction. More generally, the results hence further look into digital media’s practices and how the curriculum design can help the teachers to improve their practices.
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