Writing Across the Curriculum: Faculty workshop practices (1977--1997)
During the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) movement's formative years, programs were launched at hundreds of higher education institutions across North America. WAC programs incorporated workshops as the primary delivery mechanism to introduce participants to WAC pedagogy. To explore how workshops changed teaching practices, this study presents an account of patterns the researcher observed when analyzing archived materials generated from WAC workshops held in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, and run primarily by Toby Fulwiler. ^ Fulwiler attended Rutgers University's 1977 NEH Institute in the Humanities workshop where he learned of the work of James Britton and other education researchers who had studied how writing could be used to improve student learning. Fulwiler embraced Britton's theories, and went on to lead hundreds of WAC workshops, disseminating writing-to-learn practices as tools to help faculty in diverse disciplines incorporate more writing in their courses. In particular, Fulwiler's most oft-repeated workshop and classroom activity—journal writing—is explored in depth. ^ Drawing from materials held in the National Archives of Composition and Rhetoric, this naturalistic inquiry viewed workshop activities through an examination of letters, memoranda, reports, proposals, handwritten notes, faculty surveys, student writing, and other ephemera. The research explored the overarching hypothesis that the WAC movement survives in part because it was started and sustained by workshop activities orchestrated by WAC leaders. The function of these institutional actors can be seen through the actions and reflections of Fulwiler, who serves an exemplar of WAC leadership. In addition, this study briefly considers the work of other leaders who disseminated WAC pedagogy. From workshops, WAC programs were launched, scholarship emerged, and WAC leaders made careers for themselves as consultants and scholars. ^ The study concludes with an analysis of WAC reproduction based on Anthony Giddens' notion of structuration and actor repetition. The findings of the study suggests that the reproduction of those early workshop practices helped promulgate the Writing Across the Curriculum movement. Also discussed are a number of pragmatic applications generated by this account, as well as future research directions for writing programs that function to work across curriculum. ^
Education, History of|Education, Teacher Training|Language, Rhetoric and Composition|Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Owen Brian Kaufman,
"Writing Across the Curriculum: Faculty workshop practices (1977--1997)"
Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access).