This study is about students’ work with writing as an activity for learning in year 4, 5 and 6 in compulsory school. The methodology used is inspired by phenomenography and the overall frame of analysis is sociocultural. The purpose of the study is to describe what five students experience they learn when writing and on the basis of that problematize students’ work with writing in school. The study includes five students, three boys and two girls, as well as five different writing assignments. The five writing assignments are of different character; argumentative, reflective, structured, narrative and communicative, and they aim to include several of the functions writing can have in school. The main material of the study consists of 25 interviews, five with each student, which have been conducted as closely as possible to the students’ work with the five different writing assignments.
The study shows that students experience they learn differently depending on what type of writing assignment they are working with. In order for the students to perceive that they are learning a subject matter, which they are writing about, it seems the writing assignments need to be designed in a way that challenges the students’ thinking. Challenges of the type reflect, take a stand, motivate and compare seem to be effective for this purpose, even though they do not always seem to be sufficient for all students.
Several students express uncertainty. They say that they learned something in general terms instead of giving clear examples, they ponder a long time, answer that ""you" can learn", that they perhaps learned something or they don’t know. The students seem to be unfamiliar with reflection around writing and learning and appear to need support, not only in their learning, but also to conceive that they learn something when they write.
Teachers can not take for granted that students experience that they learn when they are writing or that students know why they are writing in school. It appears that conscious and structured work with writing, and with the students’ experience of writing, is needed.
2011. , 94 p.