In Their Own Words

In Their Own Words

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This study explores autoethnography as a pedagogical practice in the writing classroom. It grew out of twin questions: How can student perspectives complement graduate study in composition? How can writing autoethnographies help students analyze their expectations of writing instruction? I investigated these questions in Spring 2007 as a graduate teaching associate in the General Education Writing (GEW) program at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM). I designed an autoethnographic essay prompt which I and six other colleagues incorporated into our planned coursework. Of two hundred students who wrote an autoethnography, twenty-nine submitted their stories for this study. From these students, I learned that experience with writing in the K-12 system socialized them into assumptions and expectations that set them up for a disconnect with college-level writing courses and instructors. In both the explicit telling of their experiences and the assumptions embedded in their language, students perceive themselves as passive participants in both their writing and learning processes. For many students, writing an autoethnography helped them reconcile negative experience with hope for future academic success. Autoethnography disrupts the teacher-student relationship by enabling teachers to learn from students and students to examine their own attitudes and beliefs toward writing and learning. It encourages teacher researchers to see students as co-researchers and students to become what Donald Schon calls artful learners.This study explores autoethnography as a pedagogical practice in the writing classroom. It grew out of twin questions: How can student perspectives complement graduate study in composition?


Title:In Their Own Words
Author:Carla S. Maroudas
Publisher: - 2008
ISBN-13:

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