Process Writing: A Comprehensive Methodology for Teaching Thinking and Learning Science

Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Carol L. Smith


Theorists in the thinking skills movement have provided educators with definite criteria and challenges for change, but educators feel the need to dialogue about how to relate content and process in the curriculum. This thesis work is one teacher's attempt to integrate content knowledge with intellective growth, based on cognitive learning theory and some of the essential components of critico-creative thinking. Sufficient evidence was found to support the notion that writing provides great potential for the development of thinking. A plan was devised to integrate process writing into a ninth-grade science curriculum, for the purpose of teaching thinking , with an emphasis on problem-finding and problem-solving. Teacher preparation included: the creation of an appropriate classroom climate, the assessment of content goals, and the design of a unit on force and motion, using age-appropriate contextual materials. As the writing program evolved, students practiced journal writing, wrote lab reports and research papers, and they benefited from the peer-editing process. Through their reflective writing, students practiced higher order thinking skills, they showed interest in their intellective growth, improved study skills, and developed scientific skills and behaviors. Enthusiasm and student-involvement were identified. There is evidence that process writing is a comprehensive methodology for teaching thinking and leaning science. IT develops general thinking skills, develops scientific inquiry and science-specific products, and it enhances science learning.


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