Reading our responses: A new way of responding to student writing.
AuthorGlau, Gregory Robert.
Committee ChairEnos, Theresa
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.
AbstractThe purpose of my research project was to determine if a semester-long discussion about how teachers respond to and comment on student writing would change student conceptions of revision. I ground my argument in reader-response theory, which helps us understand the connection between reading and writing not as one of mind fusion and of the clear transmission of ideas (the current-traditional model) but rather a transaction first between a writer and her text and then between a reader and that text. My research is informed by reader-response theory as articulated by Louise Rosenblatt and how it relates to the way(s) we can best respond to our students' writing. I have expanded on Rosenblatt's ideas to focus my naturalistic research on the written and oral dialogue of the classroom; my results suggest the location of a new site at which to situate our responses to student writing, a site which facilitates true content-based revision. For instructors, my transactional model of reading and responding to student writing suggests that when we read student papers we respond not to the texts themselves, but to our evocations of those works and--at the same time--to discuss with our student writers their own evocations of their texts. In terms of revision and response, these evocations are the points at which we want to talk with the writer, the places at which our comments--both written and oral--do the most good. I propose that we bring commenting to the forefront of our classroom conversations, to explain Rosenblatt's theories along with my own extensions of her ideas, so that students enter into the conversation about their own reading and our responses to it and their responses to our comments. The results from the participatory ethnography from my own classroom and which is reported here, in which commenting became part of the ongoing dialogue of that classroom, clearly argue for such a new way of responding to student writing. Such a pedagogy not only facilitated more complicated student conceptions of revision, it also enabled more effective revision strategies and practices.