Graves' Questions for Further Research (1975)

1)  Most of these still seem important and well thought-through. However, in #4 (36), do you sense that they are trying to promote teaching boys at the expense of assignments that girls do well with, rather than encouraging boys to learn to consider home and family as important topics and to be willing to respond in writing to legitimate social requests for writing?  If you are interested in gender and how students learn, see Flynn's "Composing as a Woman" (1988, Perl) and take another look at the way Graves set up his study.  Is this question setting the stage for training boys to ignore their families and to resist behaviors that would make them employable, productive members of society?

2)  In #7, the implication of the question produces another--if "developmental level" determines writing quantity, what determines "developmental level"? Is it age, alone, or are there things we can do to encourage development, assuming we can define it? (Which they didn't.)

3)  Remember that, especially at a distance, all research seems flawed by those factors the researchers did not or could not take into account.  Don't hold it against them unless they specifically bring up doing something you think would be important and then dismiss it for reasons that do not convince you.  Otherwise, think of your detection of a gap in their data or analysis as a gift, the opportunity for new research.