Rhetorics and Literacies of Everyday Life of First-Year College Students
New Literacy Studies
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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.
AbstractThis project presents results from a year-long teacher-research study of 50 students in two sections of first-year composition. The goal of this project is to create writing pedagogy in touch with first-year students' everyday worlds and to represent students as people who enter the classroom with literacies, knowledge, and resources. Using funds of knowledge methodology, this project shows how to use students' existing literacy practices and rhetorical skills to move them to deeper levels of critical literacy. Employing frame analysis, this research shows how contemporary consumerist ideologies inform students' orientations towards their education and demonstrates how to use these ideologies as a bridge to getting students to both question the meaning of a college degree and take an active role in their education. To show some of the tensions that emerge for students moving between the spaces of student life, this project uses activity theory to compare the everyday practices of lecture-hall classes and composition classes. "Third Space" theory is suggested as a way for students and teachers to leave familiar practices and scripts to question larger assumptions about the creation of knowledge. Activity theory is also used to examine students' experiences in campus communities, where it is argued that students feel they are engaging in more authentic learning experiences, though they retain some of the attitudes they have towards their academic work in these communities. Combining activity theory, pedagogical action research, and principles of student-centered teaching, conclusions argue for a paradigm for "student engagement research," a methodology for teacher-researchers to both study students' everyday lives and incorporate student culture into the teaching of writing.
Degree ProgramGraduate College