Writing Assignments and Student Responses: Uptake in a Fifth-Grade Class
MetadataShow full item record
University of Washington Abstract Writing Assignments and Student Responses: Uptake in a Fifth-grade Class Leonard Alvarez Chair of Supervisory Committee: Professor Sheila W. Valencia College of Education Young students' genre knowledge and learning have been of interest to literacy researchers for some time. How students learn and recognize genres, how they deploy them, how they learn the circumstances under which to deploy particular genres are key concerns for literacy educators and researchers. While the field of Composition Studies has long theorized and studied genres and genre learning, literacy research for the elementary grades has less frequently done so. This dissertation study draws on theories from Rhetorical Genre Studies, specifically the concept of uptake, in order to better reveal the complexities of genre learning and teaching. Uptake is drawn on to illuminate the relationship between genres as these are positioned relative to each other, in this case the writing assignments and student responses in two subject areas, social studies and science, in a fifth-grade setting. Employing qualitative case study methdology, this study made use of the data collection methods of extensive observations, participant interviews, and artifact collection as the basis for analyis. Findings revealed that the two subject area teachers, one in social studies and another in science, presented a wide range of cues for students to select from, and at time these cues were in tension with each other. Focal students were drawn to a wide range of these cues, but their writing seemed to gravitate toward cues related to evaluative criteria, even when they had responded to their prompts in much richer ways in their discussions. These findings suggest implications for future research trajectories regarding genre knowledge and learning for young students. The field of literacy research for elementary grade students has much to gain from exploring the range of theories thus far elaborated in the field of Composition Studies. As regards writing specifically at this grade level range, studies of uptake hold great possibility to shed light on the multiple factors involved in how students make sense of and respond to writing tasks.
- Education - Seattle