Bringing experience, research, and practice together (with a chance for you to participate!)

Katie Caprino, a doctoral candidate at UNC, is bringing together her previous experience as a high school English teacher with her personal and professional interests in educational research to help improve practice within the English Language Arts classroom, particularly within the writing curriculum.

Caprino knew as she entered graduate school that she wanted to contribute to the research about teachers’ writing practices. She was especially interested in whether the fact that a teacher writes impacts his or her classroom practices, and if it does, how. Through an independent study with her advisor, Dr. Cheryl Bolick, she also incorporated the idea of technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) (Mishra & Koehler, 2006) in the English classroom. This path has led her to her most recent research study which will ask the following questions:

  1. What are the writing practices of secondary English teachers who are active digital writers?
  2. What doeswriting (digital and otherwise) pedagogy look like in the classrooms of teachers who are digital writers?
  3. What factors move teachers toward critical literacy in their own writing and in their classroom practices?

Here is how you can help:

Caprino is in the recruitment period of her study and would love more participants. If you are a middle or high school English teacher, in need of CEUs, and would like to contribute to research in your field, this is your chance. Teachers will register for a online six-week online course about critical literacy and digital writing . The course will be offered during this fall semester through a LEARN NC and is worth 2 CEUs. In this six-week study group, teachers will read and discuss literature and examples of digitally written texts that take a critical stance.  As their final study group project, teachers will design a mentor text – their own digitally written text that takes a critical stance – that they will share with their own students and present to their students as a course assignment.

Based on observations and data collected during the course, Caprino will conduct teacher interviews and classroom observations as well as analyze digital writing (blogs, Twitter accounts, Facebook accounts, etc.). Caprino hopes this research will contribute to the field of English education and will encourage teacher educators, school leaders, and teachers themselves to facilitate teachers engaging in their own writing and composing for change while encouraging their students to do the same.

Email Katie Caprino to learn more and to sign up! kcaprino@live.unc.edu