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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The creative writing course in the British Columbia senior secondary school : a telephoto examination with accompanying curriculum development guidelines Jamieson, Norma

Abstract

This in-depth examination of the Creative Writing course in the British Columbia secondary schools with accompanying curriculum development guidelines was prompted because of the provincial lack of course survey information and the lack of materials and guidelines for teachers to use when developing their individual Creative Writing curricula. Creative writing is defined as an inextricable combination of both process and product, sufficiently distinct from standard classroom expository writing to warrant a separate label. A separate course in Creative Writing is justified by contemporary studies of talented students which emphasize homogeneous grouping to encourage the particular talent concerned. Creativity, creative writing specifically, is a distinct talent. The provincial survey effected compilation of a list of British Columbia schools offering Creative Writing with the respective teachers. The survey questionnaire included questions concerning methodology and content of the Creative writing course. Tabulated results and teacher comments confirm the great diversity of Creative Writing curricula offered throughout British Columbia, the extreme variation in teacher confidence, and the general lack of prescribed teacher qualifications. The survey emphasized the teachers' need of realistic guidelines for curriculum development. Contemporary creativity research and theory are outlined as they affect the development of Creative Writing curricula. The creative personality, creativity needs and factors inhibiting creativity development are emphasized. Specific and practical curriculum development guidelines, intended for individual teacher use, are approached in a two stage concept that reflects the real world of writing. Stage One: Drafting explores experiential content that is small and ordinary, the teacher's role, journal use and observation skills. Stage Two: Editing and Publishing explores the validity and necessity of student publication, and various publication forms. The implications of publication for curriculum development that are dealt with are peer response, teacher as tutor, revision philosophy, editing of mechanics, form and style. Particular evaluation formats are delineated. Conclusions recommend reworking the Curriculum Guide and the Prescribed Textbook List. Guidelines for curriculum development need to be made available to each Creative Writing teacher, and attention must be directed to making the course an integral part of the writing world outside the classroom.

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