But I wish the research would point to these systems as consistent and universal means of student growth
But I wish the research would point to these systems as consistent and universal means of student growth. It does not. The research suggests that these practices improve student writing only along with the qualifier of enthusiastic teachers who create meaningful systems for their own classrooms. It worked in my classroom, but I was bothered that the research was so tepid. I kept doing portfolios and conferences in my classroom, noting anecdotal and statistical success for my students.
Then, two years ago, I read Daniel Pink’s Drive and Carol Dweck’s Mindset, and I realized that a system of portfolios and conferences was not enough to change student engagement on its own. The way I thought and talked with my students about their writing and learning had also changed. The words out of my mouth in the classroom changed the way students thought about their writing even more than portfolios and conferencing.