A grounded theory of deaf middle school students' revision of their own writing
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This study used a grounded theory methodology to examine the experiences of deaf middle school students attending a program for deaf children in a public school to answer the following question: How do deaf children in middle school construct meaningful texts? The students were in one of two self-contained classes taught by a teacher of the deaf. The eight students and two teachers were each interviewed at least once. Classroom observations of the students engaged in writing an essay were conducted, and writing samples from each student were provided by the teachers. All of the data were analyzed, and a grounded theory that describes the experiences of the deaf students emerged. The theory consists of one core category and four key categories, which encompass three parts of writing: Knowing, Experiencing, and Doing. The core category, which captures the essence of what revision is to the students, is Living in Language and is the sole category in Knowing. Three key categories fall under the Experiencing heading: Interacting with the Text, Interacting with Instruction, and Interacting with Self as Reviser. The final key category is the sole category in Doing: Fixing Wrongs. This research contributes to the literature by illustrating how deaf students who are in one middle school understand, experience, and approach revision tasks. A significant understanding is that the students in this study are not given many opportunities to construct meaningful texts independently in their classes. Despite the lack of control over their own texts, the students have developed strategies to successfully “play the game” of writing in school. In addition, recommendations for future research and ways to improve instruction are offered. The greatest implication for instruction is that teachers need to step back and consider how instruction impacts the students. Students especially need to be empowered to control their own writing and develop metacognition of their own work. Future research can be done to test the theory using a broader scope of participants in other settings. It could also examine the writing process from the teachers’ perspectives to provide information about what informs their instruction of writing and revising.