Case study, collaborative model, teaching writing, middle school development


The goal of the research study was to explore the cognitive, social, and affective factors that contribute to the development of 8th grade writing skill. The central research question for this study was: How does a collaborative model of teaching writing prepares students for high achievement on Florida Writes? The researcher successfully answered this inquiry by asserting the following supporting questions: How does school culture impact teacher collaboration and student engagement in teaching writing? What is the relationship between engaging in a collaborative model of teaching writing and improvement of writing skill in middle level students? The study determined how and why the writing skill was developed at an urban, rural middle school in a Central Florida School District. The rationale for completing research at Horizon Middle School was to provide an exemplar in the teaching of writing skill, a phenomenon. Horizon Middle School presented a learning community that was entrenched in the same challenging demographics, but distinctly showed a high level of academic achievement in writing. Instead of teaching through a formulaic, test-generated approach, students learned through discovery, personal relationship, and engagement. Not only did 97% of 8th grade students passed the Florida Writes examination, but in the process of preparing for the standardized assessment was an embedded foundation laid for students and their future learning. The review of literature focused on: school culture, models of teaching at the middle level, models of teaching writing at the middle level and the standardization found within the FCAT Writes. Data collection was completed through classroom observations, one-on-one interviews and participation in faculty meetings. Data analysis was completed by addressing each research iv question through the conceptual framework. The study determined that this was a model for developing the writing skill for all middle level students, an exemplar within the field. Suggested uses for the study included the development of future studies focus on successful schools that were challenged by the same demographics and consideration of the partnership that Horizon had with the University of Central Florida as a model for other educational communities to consider.


If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at

Graduation Date





Hewitt, Randall


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education and Human Performance

Degree Program









Release Date

December 2012

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Education, Education -- Dissertations, Academic

Included in

Education Commons