Emerging Writing Practices in Post-Compulsory Secondary Education: An Investigation Into the 'Review' Task of the Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE)

Baker, Sally (2009). Emerging Writing Practices in Post-Compulsory Secondary Education: An Investigation Into the 'Review' Task of the Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE). MRes thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000f20d

Abstract

Pressure to address the perceived skills shortage of school and university leavers has resulted in a greater focus on developing and assessing personal skills in post-compulsory education, such as Personal Development Planning (PDP) in higher education. As a consequence, 'new' forms of writing and assessment are emerging alongside more traditional genres, which is arguably causing tension and confusion for students and teachers as they adapt to these new ways of writing. This project addresses this tension by examining a specific case of 'emerging writing', the 'review' form from the Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE) in a secondary school sixth form, within an Academic Literacies framework and is positioned within the context of the transition between school and university. This project examines what the CoPE review looks like and explores students' and teachers' perceptions and understandings of it. The findings show that students and teachers have unclear and varied interpretations of what the function of CoPE 'review' is, how it 'should look' and where it fits in the spectrum of genres regularly practised in secondary education. These reactions suggest a lack of understanding of how to approach this 'new' way of writing and, therefore, provides poor training for the 'reflective writing' that is required in PDP in higher education.

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