Voices in contexts: Study of writing and thinking across the curriculum in a two-year college.
AuthorBaker, Edith Miriam.
Committee ChairRoen, Duane H.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractTo describe instructor's pedagogy of using writing and thinking in three discipline-specific classrooms (gunsmithing, nursing, and sociology) at the two-year college level is the purpose of this research project. Over a period of 4 months, from the start of Spring Semester 1992 to its completion, I maintained an ethnographic research stance in each of these 3 classes at a rural community college in northern Arizona. Chapter 1 presents an overview of the contexts of my research; Chapter 2 examines research during the last 30 years in writing and thinking, specifically WAC at the community-college level. In Chapter 3 I explain my methodology and design, which includes not only observations of instructors, but also student interviews and journals. In addition to triangulation, I incorporated questionnaires to check student and instructor responses in areas of writing and thinking activities, instructors' rationales and theories and metacognitive awarenesses, and uses of writing and thinking in classrooms. All four instructors possess varying degrees of metacognition in their rationales; most of their writing assignments incorporate writing to show learning. Chapters 4 through 6 are case studies of four instructors in specific disciplines. Each chapter has five sections: instructor background and history, teaching philosophy and rationale, summary of my observations, my interpretations and commentary, and finally instructors' responses to my interpretation of their classroom practices. Chapter 7 and 8 are analyses and conclusions about the research data, and chapter 9 provides recommendations for administrators of two-year institutions, content-area instructors and composition instructors. Following the precedents of experimental ethnographic writers, such as Clifford Geertz, Mary Ann Pratt, Stephen Tyler, Wendy Bishop, Marcus and Cushman, I have written this text as a collage of points of view, attempting wherever possible to allow student and instructor voices to emerge. Instructors have the last words in their chapters. Although much writing and thinking across the curriculum is occurring at Yavapai College in northern Arizona, which has no formal WAC program, I have many suggestions about ways to foster student thinking and writing. Finally, I conclude with suggestions about possible models for WAC at the two-year college.