Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Teaching & Learning


Learning disabled adolescents are expected to demonstrate more effective use of written expression as they cope with increased curricular demands at the secondary level. To compound the problem, repeated failures have helped develop strong negative affect toward school and the writing process.

Statement of the Problem ·-----·---·-----·-·----------This study was designed to teach writing and self-monitoring skills to learning disabled eighth graders. Time for practice was provided, and the effectiveness of the procedure was evaluated.

Methods and Procedures ----------·--------- Unlike other studies, this study did not compare the learning disabled with non-learning disabled; instead, using appropriate statistical technique, student performances over different time blocks were compared whereby students became their own controls.

Eleven learning disabled eighth graders participated in the yearlong study. In a self-contained classroom setting, the learning disabilities teacher used materials designed and written by the researcher. Strategies in capitalization, punctuation, sentence formation, error correction, and se1f-monitoring were introduced and practiced.

Pretest and posttest measures as well as weekly evaluations of student writing documented performance. Spelling errors remained unmarked but were recorded. Student journals, classroom observations, and teacher interviews provided evidence of student affect. Data collected were submitted to qualitative and statistical analytical treatments.

Results: Significant improvements occurred in vocabulary, thematic maturity, and handwriting during the period of strategy instruction. Student written products revealed a significant reduction in total words as the number of strategies increased.

During the last five-week time block a significant increase in the total number of words written occurred. As self-monitoring strategies were practiced, a significant reduction in spelling errors was found.

Punctuation errors increased significantly as total words increased. Data revealed no significant main effects for capitalization or organization as total words increased. Overall the students were able to write more words with fewer errors as monitoring strategies were practiced.

Positive affect changes were evidenced in student journal entries, student written products, teacher observations, and interviews. Student behaviors demonstrated greater class participation, added eagerness in using written expression, and increased time on task.