Where is the Writing Teacher? Preservice Teachers’ Perspectives on the Teaching of Writing


  • Angela M. Kohnen University of Florida
  • Kathryn Caprino Elizabethtown College
  • Sally Crane University of Florida
  • Jane S. Townsend University of Florida






This article identifies how a cohort of preservice teachers educated during the No Child Left Behind Era thought about the teaching of writing when they entered a secondary English Language Arts (ELA) teacher preparation program. Most participants shared the beliefs that: (1) writing was primarily the demonstration of specific skills, often on a standardized test; (2) alternatives to the five-paragraph essay would be extra, with formulaic writing central to instruction; (3) teachers had little role in student writing development beyond assigning writing; (4) feedback on writing should be ‘objective’ and tied to a grade; and (5) the purpose of ELA is primarily to teach literature. Authors believe identifying preservice teachers’ beliefs about writing and the role of the writing teacher at the beginning of a program can help teacher educators design experiences to expand students’ notions of literacy and of writing instruction.

Author Biographies

Angela M. Kohnen, University of Florida

Angela M. Kohnen is an assistant professor in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida.

Kathryn Caprino, Elizabethtown College

Kathryn Caprino is an assistant professor in the Department of Education at Elizabethtown College (Pennsylvania).

Sally Crane, University of Florida

Sally Crane is a doctoral candidate in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida.

Jane S. Townsend, University of Florida

Jane S. Townsend is professor emerita in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida.


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How to Cite

Kohnen, A. M., Caprino, K., Crane, S., & Townsend, J. S. . (2019). Where is the Writing Teacher? Preservice Teachers’ Perspectives on the Teaching of Writing. Writing and Pedagogy, 11(2), 285–310. https://doi.org/10.1558/wap.37278



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