Teaching models of disciplinary argumentation in middle school social studies: A framework for supporting writing development
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Abstract

Teaching models of disciplinary argumentation in middle school social studies: A framework for supporting writing development

C.L. Alston, C. Monte-Sano, M. Schleppegrell & K. Harn
(2021 - accepted for publication)

Journal of Writing Research

Modeling, by demonstrating and explaining the cognitive processes involved in writing, has been shown to support writing development. Less often have specific disciplinary aspects of teaching with models been investigated. We draw on research in English Language Arts and apply it in social studies inquiry contexts to propose a framework for teaching models of thinking and writing that offers teachers and researchers new perspectives on the discipline-specific work of modeling. This framework accounts for three modes of instruction - use of models (a tool or a text), demonstrating and explaining, and co-constructing model texts with students - and describes eleven instructional practices that support instruction across these modes. We analyze data from three years of social studies instruction to show how two teachers enact these practices across the three modes to highlight the disciplinary thinking and processes that support writing social studies arguments with sources, highlighting the ways students can actively participate in teaching writing with models. In addition, we consider the role of the curriculum in this work. We show how writing instruction can address disciplinary ways of thinking in social studies and illustrate the potential of the framework for guiding researchers' and practitioners' work on writing instruction across disciplinary contexts.

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