Understanding influences on writing instruction: cases of two kindergarten teachers

Sarah J. McCarthey, Grace Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study focused on two kindergarten teachers who were observed and interviewed throughout one school year. The contrasting cases demonstrate how two teachers drew upon their experiences with teaching writing and professional development (PD) with differing outcomes for their instruction and underlying beliefs about writing. Dana, an experienced kindergarten teacher, leveraged her personal interests in writing and PD to adapt the curriculum to fit the needs of her students. In contrast, Natasha, a teacher who was teaching kindergarten for the first time, followed the curriculum and her colleague’s advice faithfully. It was not their teaching experience alone that influenced their practices, but rather their opportunities for PD and their ‘ways of knowing’ [Belenky, M. F., Clinchy, B. M., Goldberger, N. R., & Tarule, J. M. (1986). Women’s ways of knowing: The development of self, voice, and mind. New York, NY: Basic].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-417
Number of pages20
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017


  • Writing
  • cases
  • experienced
  • novice
  • teachers
  • ways of knowing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics


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