"Does Perspective Taking Matter for Writing? Perspective Taking in Source-based Analytical Writing of Secondary Students” in Reading and Writing"
Third-year doctoral student Minkyung Cho (left) is first author, Professor Young-Suk Kim (center) and Professor Emerita Carol Booth Olson (right) co-authors, of an article in Reading and Writing exploring the contribution of perspective taking to writing.
The title of the article is “Does Perspective Taking Matter for Writing? Perspective Taking in Source-based Analytical Writing of Secondary Students.”
Cho researches reading and writing development, higher order cognitive skills, adolescent literacy, second/foreign language acquisition, English language learners, and digital literacy. She is particularly interested in understanding the functions of higher order cognitive or metalinguistic skills in reading and writing development. Cho received her bachelor’s degree in English Education from Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul, South Korea and her master’s degree in Education specializing in TESOL from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Before coming to UCI, Cho taught English at a foreign language high school and a middle school in Daegu, South Korea. For her doctoral studies, Cho is specializing in Teaching, Learning, and Educational Improvement (TLEI). Professor Kim serves as her advisor.
Kim is Professor and Senior Associate Dean in the UCI School of Education. Her research foci include language, cognition, reading, writing, development, bilingual and biliteracy acquisition, dual language learners, and English learners. As director of UCI's Language, Literacy, and Learning (L3) Lab, she is particularly interested in examining how various factors co-develop and interact each other. Watch Kim discuss her research with Dean Richard Arum here (21:00)
Olson is Director of both the WRITE Center and the UCI/National Writing Project. A professor in the Department of Education at the University of California, Irvine, she received her Ph.D. in American Literature from UCLA. Olson has authored several books, including The Reading/Writing Connection, and published over thirty journal articles on interactive strategies for teaching writing, fostering critical thinking through writing, applying multiple intelligences theory to language arts instruction, using multicultural literature with students of culturally diverse backgrounds, and more.
Perspective taking, one’s knowledge of their own mental and emotional states and inferences about others’ mental and emotional states, is an important skill for writing development. In the present study, we examined how perspective taking is expressed in writing and how it is related to overall writing quality. We analyzed seventh graders’ source-based analytical essays (N = 195) to investigate (1) the extent to which students incorporated perspective taking in their essays, (2) how the extent of perspective taking in essays differ by students’ sex and English learner status, and (3) the extent to which perspective taking in writing is associated with overall writing quality. Findings revealed that students wrote more from their own perspective than that of others. Moreover, the results of multi-level analyses suggested that female students exhibited more varied perspectives but there was no meaningful difference by English learner status. Lastly, greater extent of perspective taking, particularly that of higher level of perspectives (i.e., dual perspective), was associated with better writing quality, after accounting for students’ demographic backgrounds (e.g., sex, poverty status, English learner status) and essay length. These results underscore the importance of writing from multiple perspectives on writing quality.