Working towards a ‘thirdspace’ in the teaching of writing to middle years students

Mary Ryan, Georgina Barton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper discusses the teaching of writing within the competing and often contradictory spaces of high-stakes testing and the practices and priorities around writing pedagogy in diverse school communities. It examines the spaces that influence and are influenced by teachers' pedagogical priorities for writing in two linguistically diverse upper primary school case studies. Findings show that when teachers' practices focus on the teaching of structure and skills alongside identity building and voice, students can produce dramatic, authoritative and resonant texts. The paper argues that 'thirdspaces' can be forged that attend to accountability requirements, yet also give the required attention to more complex aspects of writing necessary for students to invest in writing as a creative and critical form of communication for participation in society and the knowledge economy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-81
Number of pages11
JournalLiteracy learning : the middle years
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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