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Grounded Theory


In this chapter of grounded theory authors, Charmaz and Henwood present the basic principles of the grounded theory method. At the beginning of the chapter, they provide historical background and methods of grounded theory including coding, comparative analysis, case analysis, memo writing,  and how to conduct the overall research process. This chapter provides readers with the tools needed to competently complete a research analysis. Furthermore, this chapter describes the proper procedures and techniques necessary to understand this research concept.

 

Definition: The article did a great job explaining how methods of grounded theory are essential when conducting analyses. In essence,  the authors describe the method of grounded theory as such:

 

We gather data, compare them, remain open to all possible theoretical understandings of the data, and develop tentative interpretations about these data through our codes and nascent categories. Then we go back to the field and gather more data to check and refine our categories.

 

The Role of Research in a Research Process:

 

One point that I highlighted in this chapter are the two points of views taken when using this method. That is the realist or a social constructionist approach. These two types of knowledge offer a practical guide for the different types of researchers. The realist researcher will use statistical and quantitative data collection to complete a theoretical analysis. On the other hand, the social constructionist uses more qualitative data when conducting research. Another interesting section of this chapter was the data analysis. I thought this section was a bit more challenging to understand because I do not entirely know how the process of coding functions. This is a major tool necessary to collect data in research. The process, however, seems extensive and requires much time. Even so, this process has to be done accurately and precisely in order to do it well. 

 
Read the article Here: Grounded Theory Methodology. Retrieved: https://www.mheducation.co.uk/openup/chapters/9780335244492.pdf

Rediscovering the Research Theory Method

It’s funny to see a term that I’m “supposed to” be familiar with but unable to describe it if someone were to ask. I had heard of the grounded theory before. The best I could do in terms of offering a definition for it, at least before reading the assigned article, would have been: “a theory that is grounded in… theory?”. Thanks to the article, I have a better idea now. I usually do not find this sort of articles all that “fun” to read, but every once in a while I tend to come across one that is well-written and organized. This particular article was one of them. In fact, I’m somewhat inclined to purchase the book (if there is a trade paperback) that it comes from now. Even though, conducting a legitimate research is not something necessarily for me, it’d handy to have a good resource just in case I may need one in the future.

So, I’m going to attempt at explaining what grounded theory is based on the article here. I’ll have to stea—borrow!… some quotations in order to do it “justice”. The grounded theory is basically an end result of a research method that “merges the processes of data collection and analysis” that “continues until theoretical saturation has been achieved”. “In grounded theory, the researcher interacts with the data” as it develops and more subcategories emerge for further analysis. Also, labeling of these categories, which is an essential aspect, “[is] not derived from existing theoretical formulations but [rather] grounded in the data instead”. As the research process continues, the labeling of categories goes from descriptive to more abstract ones. For example, “the references to diverse activities such as getting drunk, jogging and writing poetry
could be categorized as ‘escape’…” in later stages. The main idea behind this type of labeling progress is so that “the full complexity and diversity of the data can be recognized, and any homogenizing impulse can be counteracted” as needed.

(Is that enough quotations for one paragraph?)

The part of the article that talked about the research question, which apparently needs to be as descriptive as possible, made me reconsider the (W.I.P.) research question that I’m currently running with —I might completely change it later. Actually… Let’s try to change it a little bit now. My research question was: How does proficiency of language affect the development of successful learner autonomy? It does not really work with the grounded theory. As the article indicates, a question such as this contains an explicit assumption “derived from existing theories”. In this case, that would be my assumption that there is a known connection between the proficiency level and learner autonomy. Instead, it’d probably be better to reconstruct it into something like this: Does the proficiency level of language has any impact on the students’ ability to develop learner autonomy?… Does that work? Something tells me that there is still an underlined assumption in there, somewhere. Anyways, the point is making sure that the research question “orientates the researcher towards action and process rather than states and conditions”. I’ll have to work on it a bit more.

The research example by Janice Morse (1992) presented in the article is a great way to examine the potential development of the methodology. “Exploring the role gift-giving played in the development of the relationship between patient and nurse” is not something that I would’ve even considered for a research… but very it is intriguing. As we can see during its development, more types of relationships, and aspects such the amount of time spent or the purpose of interaction, emerged and shifted the focus. The occurrence of this particular shift is due to that form of analysis and researcher-data interaction mentioned earlier. So, everything gets to be grounded (pun?) in the discovered data. I wonder, if I were to conduct this type of research based on my question above, what kind of subcategories could emerge from it? It’s hard to imagine right now.

There were also three major issues related to the grounded theory and its certain limitations presented in the article, but due to time limitations —despite the fact that we had a week off, I’ll have to leave those for the in-class discussion tomorrow. So, allow me to end this blog post on a dramatic cliffhanger… [To Be Continued!]

 

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Source: (*). Grounded Theory Methodology. Retrieved: https://www.mheducation.co.uk/openup/chapters/9780335244492.pdf

*I was unable to find author names or publication date.

Autoethnography: An Overview

I was excited to read this weeks article for our first blog post because in one of my classes this semester I will be conducting an autoethnography project and I am eager to learn more about the topic! In the short article Autoethnography: An Overview authors Carolyn Ellis, Tony E. Adams & Arthur P. Bochner present a definition of Autoethnography. In the very beginning of the text, the authors present a definition of the term autoethnography and what it actually means. The term autoethnography is a study of both personal and cultural experience. (auto- for personal and ethno- for cultural experience). Additionally, throughout the text, the authors describe how to do this type of research and the process it takes to understand autoethnography overall.

Definition: 

Autoethnography is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyze personal experience in order to understand cultural experience.

Opinion:

Before reading this article I had a clue of what the study of autoethnography entails, however, after reading this article I now have a better idea of how to conduct this type of research and the different approaches to take. What I most enjoyed about the article was the way the author sectioned the topics in order to provide an intelligible way of understanding the topic. Furthermore, in the article, the authors describe how in order to do this type of research one must aim to consciously understand the political and social behaviors of an individual. These two aspects form and shape identity and create a cultural experience. I believe the article does a great analysis describing the relational ethics and personal narrative construction of individual identity. This understanding is crucial for conducting autoethnography research. Having that in mind I can expect to complete adequate autoethnography research.

The Process: 

The authors state that the process of autoethnography research is a method. In order to properly access the result of this type of research authors, scholars and researchers must have the right tools and techniques to conduct this study. they may interview, use photographs, journals, and recordings to help with this resrach. I agree that all these tools are sufficient mechanics to do research. furthermore. the authors describe that the process of documenting autoethnography research is a form of storytelling and it should not be biased. I believe the authors state this because this type of research has to be truthful and reflect the experience of the individual without fiction or lies. The story should be realible credible and most importanly valid. Without the bias opinion of researchers, this study will have an honest result and reflect both the persoal and culrual life of the subject.

Overall I thought the article was a great read and a short introduction for beginners to do this type of study.

Read The Article Here: 

Ellis, C., Adams, T. E., & Bochner, A. P. (2011, January). Autoethnography: An Overview. Retrieved from http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1589/3095

A 2-in-1 Research Method

I really hope that I did not read the incorrect article assigned for this week. The course syllabus will take some time getting used to. I was just about to read Grounded Theory Methodology but then I realized it was actually for next week (right?). Still, the actual article for this week, Autoethnography: An Overview, turned out to be an interesting read (and short). Though, one small criticism that I should bring up is the constant brackets with credits and dates scattered throughout; it really interrupted the flow.

Anyways, the article, as stated in its title, was about autoethnograpy. The term sounded somewhat familiar when I read it. I might have read another article about it at some point, though I could not remember it specifically. It is described as a qualitative research method which combined autobiography and ethnography (auto- for personal and ethno- for cultural experience), and studied them mutually. I guess, it is more of a reflective research; discovering concepts or notions through self-reflection within boundaries of culture. It is also described as a combination of process and product. The process aspect being the connective tissue and the product aspect being the result of it. I do not believe that I personally conducted an autoethnograpy before but implementing my own personal experience into it as a comparison and the possibility of it being therapeutic is indeed intriguing.

Speaking of personal experience, there was a brief mention of perspectives in research at the beginning of the article which I found interesting. The general consensus is that research needs to be objective but how do we determine the objectivity in a research could be a subjective matter (does that make sense?). The purpose of a research could easily be subjective and that subjectivity could be reflected in the research unintentionally. For example, if the purpose of researcher is proving a bias, whether for or against it, at certain points where further research is needed, the researcher might indulge in his or her subjectivity and simply end it right there since the “expected” result is “proven”. The article also mentioned the “default” perspective that many people believe in; something defined by things such as gender, race, and status. Although it may seem “default” for those who fit the bill, for others that is not the case. In my opinion, particular reasons such as these make every qualitative (maybe even quantitative) research subjective in nature. Autoethnograpy apparently acknowledges and embraces that subjective nature to its benefit. I’m not so sure about the success of its result, however.

That brings us to the critique of this method. According to the opponents, by implementing a narrative aspect to it, the research gets decorated by “facets of storytelling” and becomes “too artful and not scientific enough” for legitimacy. It is difficult for me to counter-argue that claim. As stated above, the subjective nature of research makes it difficult to uphold its result as evidence for a claim. It seems to be too dependent on the beliefs and ideals of the reader of that research. Its nature makes it too easy for someone who disagrees with the result to dismiss it out of hand. The article claims that there is a gap between disciplines of art and science in the eyes of experts who tend to criticize this combined method. Although I certainly agree that there is a gap, I personally do not know how to address it properly (I ought to do a research on that). I should also mention that I found titles such as “novel-gazer” or “self-absorbed narcissist” given by those opponents to the autoethnograpy conductors quite funny. I’m even more inclined to conduct one now.

Obviously, the main reason behind criticism is the question of reliability in this method of research. The researcher’s credibility is very important. That adds an additional requirement of effort to identify that reliability. I, myself, do not know the credibility of any of the names credited on this particular article. I assume that they are reliable researchers (why else would they be credited?) but unless I personally check up on those sources, I can’t make a solid claim. Once again, some semblance of subjectivity seems to be in place; an opponent could possible refute that credibility in order to dismiss the result. The article mentioned the “literary license”. The majority of writers tend to embellish their stories or add more dramatic stuff for a wider appeal. One could wonder if the person who conducts an autoethnograpy is also susceptible to those tendencies that could jeopardize the validity of it. Many opponents apparently make the assertion that autoethnograpy should “better [be] viewed as a fiction” rather than a “legit” research, which creates a question for another discussion: what makes a research “legit”? I’m sure we’ll cover that more in-depth eventually.

There were so many other small details to extract from the article but I’m certain that we will go over them in class. So, I’ll just end my post right here. I do not know if I’ll ever have to conduct an autoethnograpy, but I’m glad to know that I’ll be able to identify one if I ever see it.

***

Ellis, C., Adams, T. E., & Bochner, A. P. (2011, January). Autoethnography: An Overview. Retrieved from http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1589/3095

A New Class and a New Blog Post

Hi. My name is Serkan Tiker and I would like to admit that I know nothing about academic research…

I guess that’s one way to approach learning. The first step into recovery is admitting that you have a problem. I’m now ready to learn the real deal. Well, the joking aside, I did find the article, Liminal Spaces and Research Identity by James P. Purdy and Joyce R. Walker, quite interesting. Although… since we’re talking about admitting things, I should probably admit at this point that I have not read the whole article. Sadly, this one is not a joke.

Throughout my undergraduate years, I have read so many research articles that were in similar vein with this one, very formal and educational, that I seem to have lost the youthful energy for them. If an article is any longer than 15 pages, I unintentionally lose interest and stop reading it. Although they all offer intriguing theories and important things in education to ponder upon, I do tend to find them a tad bit tedious to get through (and I mean no offense). Still, there were a few interesting things I got out of the first ten pages.

The article mentions the potential problem of using, or rather being tied to, textbooks. It claims that textbooks “aim to regulate how teachers present academic research” because “instructors [are] not trusted to develop their own lesson plans or grading criteria”. I had heard this argument before; many times in fact. Unless the curriculum absolutely demands it, being “slave” to the textbook is never encouraged. A textbook, regardless of its purpose, should only be considered a guide and be resorted to if necessary. A methodical approach to a methodical form of study could only increase its tedium; something that instructors should avoid at all cost. I agree with the article about incorporating additional materials such as “handbooks, library websites, and online research resources” for a more active learning process. Plus, it adds variety into the classroom routine.

In our last class, we looked at some new terms relating to research topic. A few of these terms were pretty new to me. Well, they were all new to me actually since I could not remember the definition of the ones that I thought I knew. This particular article introduces a few more interesting ones, such as “liminal space”. I did a quick google search online to get the full definition and the top choice was the following: “liminal space is the time between the ‘what was’ and the ‘next’”. It sounds like an appealing and a very academic word phrase, which I’m sure I’ll be using from now on. Another term (though not a new one but rather interesting choice of one) was “pollute”, as in “polluting the research”. The internet is offered as an example because it “provide[s] an overwhelming flood of sources, many of them of questionable legitimacy”, which I tend to agree with. There are many websites full of articles with no proof of proper research. I only trust Wikipedia.com; a website that allows… anybody to edit it at free will (Hmm…).

The final thing I’d like to mention is the treatment of undergraduates that the article touches upon. It claims that undergraduate students are seen as “merely research paper writers” and that is an incorrect generalization. Instead, they should be seen as and be allowed to become real researchers. I’m a bit conflicted with this notion. Although it sounds very encouraging at first, the potential of falling short of expectations is indeed a possibility in that scenario. Especially, if the students are told flat out that they will be treated as such; it’d create unnecessary pressure that could diverge the focus of research. I personally would’ve felt that pressure in that case. Then again, perhaps we could look at it as a case-by-case situation. There are indeed certain students (some I’ve personally met as a teacher) that possess the aptitude of a professional researcher, and perhaps they should be treated as such for motivational reasons. I need to do or be exposed to more studies on this particular topic for a solid agreement/disagreement. Maybe a further study is already in the article and I haven’t read it? We’ll see.

I think… I’ve just realized that this blog post falls a little too on the negative side. I hope James P. Purdy and Joyce R. Walker do not accidentally stumble upon and care to read this post. When I feel less restricted in terms of time, and encouraged to do so, I promise to finish reading the article because it’s actually interesting. My personal background serves as a hindrance, I guess. It’s not you (article)… it’s me.

 

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Purdy, J.P. and Walker, J. R. 2013. Liminal Spaces and Research Identity: The Construction of Introductory Composition Students as Researchers. California State University.

Website source (article does not contain author name or publishing date for citation): https://inaliminalspace.org/about-us/what-is-a-liminal-space/

Concluding English 5020

I was not sure what to expect from the writing studies program or this class. I entered into the semester hoping that this program would help me create a bridge between my prior work experience in theater and the creative arts and my potential future work possibilities. I was not sure what that meant but was open to the search. I didn’t expect to find so much so fast. I am pleased to be in a program where writing is the practice and the topic of discussion. It is exciting, demanding and inspiring.

English 5020, Theory & Practice was a creative surprise all the way through. Who would have guessed with a title like that?! I loved the theoretical content and found each of the reading assignments very interesting. I liked organizing material from the readings into presentations and also enjoyed hearing the presentations of other students. It was really nice that the class was small and we got to know one another. I liked being able to listen to the voice of each student express two different bodies of work.

It is hard to isolate one element of this class which was most effective. I think it was a perfect combination of the entire format that seemed to ignite all regions of my brain and creativity. Dr. Zamora provided a thoughtful balance of structure and room for creativity. Each student had the space to find their area of interest. I was deeply engaged in theorists that interested me and different pathways that they led to. I was equally captivated by things that other students found interesting. It had a workshop feel where ideas were exchanged.  That was a unique opportunity. I feel I thrived in this environment and my work evolved accordingly. I have to confess, I even liked the collaboration of the final group project.

I appreciated having that educational landscape of Equity Unbound to dip into both in class and on my own time to find educators to connect with and new perspectives to read. I began the semester resistant to the idea of “connected learning,” Twitter, and the whole online blogging component. This class has stretched my comfort zone and made me feel more comfortable delving into this area with small steps. I must admit that I now love the weekly blog and am grateful to have it as a collection of reflections, synthesis, and rough ideas to get back to. Through this practice, I have found certain theorists that I gravitate toward and would like to revisit. I would like to keep blogging as a regular practice.

The most exciting take away for me was finding that several theorists that we read this semester provide a foundation for interests I have discovered in my current work. Including, Murray, Sommers and Selfe. I have some vague ideas about how I would like to proceed with some inquiries and investigation moving toward a thesis. It feels like the perfect segue for Methods and Research class.

And my favorite quote of the semester: “Always moving toward the recursive shaping of thought through writing…” by Nancy Sommers.

 

Thank you, Dr. Zamora for a wonderful beginning of Grad School!

Grids and Grades

Using rubrics for writing assignments is something that often ends up being a topic of discussion. Although I might agree with their potential of improving the overall assignment, their efficiency is still something that I need to observe first-hand. Throughout my four-year undergraduate student life, I only had to use a rubric twice. I believe I lost both of those rubrics before completing the assignment. Looking back, I’m not absolutely certain of the degree they could have altered the outcome. Hence, I personally neglected of using a rubric in my own classes. Though, after reading the article, Using Rubrics to Develop and Apply Grading Criteria by John Bean, I might have developed an interest in designing rubrics to utilize for future writing assignments.

Since I have a presentation based on that particular article and I need to hand in a print-out, I do not find it necessary to copy and paste my analysis here. I have learned a lot of things about the nature of rubrics from the article. Some of them are very intriguing. I’m interested in finding out what others think about utilizing rubrics in the class. Perhaps even certain details about rubrics that are not touched upon in the article but stemmed from personal experiences could be brought up. I think it will an interesting discussion.

Final Project

I was unable to attend the last week’s class and receive any pointers as to how to revise my piece. So, I simply added couple of paragraphs to the end. Due to amount of final assignments and other responsibilities, my contribution for this particular assignment this week is extremely limited. I’m little behind at the moment but I’m hoping that I can pick up the pace for next week.

Here’s the current version of my first draft article:

“Selective Truth/Fake News

Truth is often what we make of it. Even the very definition of the word itself reveals its subjective nature. Truth is fact or belief that is accepted as true, and not everyone believes in the same think. Different beliefs and alternative interpretations of something considered a fact tend to create frictions among people, especially in sensitive topics such as politics. We often hear the saying, “that person speaks so much truth” but that truth is only one perspective out of many.

Paul Pardi talks about the elusiveness of truth in his article, What is Truth?, and claims “our perspective will even influence our ability to come up with a definition” for it. He asks the question: “if we decide that no one can get to what is true, what good is the definition?”Discovering the proper definition of what truth is requires us to be independent from the individual and subjectivity. It is important to make a distinction between truth and access to the truth. A fact is based on a scientific model for its discernment and collated to resemble a truth in objective matter. How this result is perceived depends on the perception of the individual. Though, it is quite difficult for many to accept the existence of truth independent of their own world view. Then, the question that everyone begins to ask is: “fact according to whom?”

If truth is “centered only in what an individual experiences”, then only a general consensus can help define the concept of truth for that individual. It is a common human nature to find others who agree or accept the reality just as we personally do. That strengthens our own belief on what is a fact and what is not. This could be very efficient but it could also be extremely dangerous. Many people who study psychology often claim that our minds are molded out of those who are around us as we experience the reality. However, we no longer depend on those people since we now have the access to social media where we can find others who actually share the same beliefs as we do.

Think about someone who attempts to make a joke. If people laugh, then that person becomes certain that his or her sense of humor is great. If they don’t laugh, then perhaps that person needs to work on it and develop a better sense. This natural method of growth or development is robbed from many individuals, especially young ones, due to existence of social media. They can now simply find people who will choose to laugh at their “great” sense of humor and they do not ever need to work on it. In our modern day of social media centered existence, the concept of truth has become a choose-your-own-adventure-book type of discovery. If you agree with this particular notion, go to [insert twitter handle]. If you disagree with it, go to [insert a different twitter handle]. If you neither agree nor disagree, go to twitter and start a new handle (why not?).

There is also the bias that comes with the common truth. A study of behavior based on common interests display the innate favoritism that people possess. We are drawn toward aspects and notions that are in common with our own personal interests. A person who might be considered shady or criminal could easily become someone we wish to befriend simply because he or she also enjoys the same brand of candy as we do. Turning a blind eye tends to be a common occurrence in the presence of common interest. This natural behavior is encouraged greatly on social media.

As individuals, we need to be more responsible of how we seek the truth. Open-mindedness and patience are two key virtues that could serve well in that discovery. The truth may not always be what we wish it to be but it is important to be conscious of our beliefs and how they affect our judgment. Driving a car is very dangerous but as long as the driver is responsible of how to steer the vehicle, the potential of safe driving and co-existence on the road is possible.”

Blog #11: Moving Toward Recursive Structuring of Thought with Writing

This week our class read, Using Rubrics to Develop and Apply Grading Criteria by John Bean, “Responding to Student Writing.” by Nancy Sommers; Teacher-Writers: Then, Now, and Next by a NWP research team

 

I found all three essays interesting for different reasons, but have chosen to comment on the work by Nancy Sommers. I appreciate the opportunity to read a second essay by Sommers. In Responding to Student Writers, Nancy Sommers addresses the relationship of teacher to student in a way that asks several fundamental questions. Why do we comment on student papers? What is the most effective way of moving students toward progress? How do we help students internalize the questioning reader? What determines which of the comments the students will use or ignore when revising?

This essay was a terrific follow up to Revision Strategies of Student Writers and Experienced Adult Writers, in which Sommers presented the divide between student writers and experienced writers in understanding revision. I came away from that reading with the impression that part of that divide is a developmental capability of a student that evolves with age and transforms into the mature executive functioning of an adult with experience. The essay this week, Responding to Student Writers, broadened my understanding of Sommers research and work. In many cases, the lack of understanding by students is enhanced by teachers rather than resolved.

The question of why teachers comment on student’s papers seemed obvious and pointless. However, the material that was presented by Sommers illustrated its necessity. The lack of understanding in students is often intensified by the misdirected efforts of the teacher’s comments. Ultimately, teachers comment on papers with the intention of moving students toward progress. In many cases, the attempt to do so is all over the place. Messages of grammatical, structural errors, often contradict a request for clarity, development, and refinement of voice and argument.

One of the most significant points in this essay was the fact that many students cannot hear their work through the ears of the reader. Many do not even realize that their argument and ideas have not been communicated. I love the goal of helping the student to internalize that questioning reader and would like to emphasize that this has to parallel what is developmentally available to them. Also, it must be addressed that different students have different learning styles. A comment on an individual student’s essay may be of no assistance at all on a different student’s paper. The intention as Sommers’ states, is “to help dramatize the presence of the reader. Comments create the motive for doing something different in the next draft.” She addresses the fact that, “Student writers will revise in a consistently narrow and predictable way. Without comments, students assume they have communicated their meaning and perceive no need for revising.”

I found the research interesting that questioned which of the comments the students will use or ignore when revising. It was particularly disturbing that there was often hostility detected in the comments. It was startling that the software, Writer’s Workbench, was more supportive of student writers solely because of its consistency and lack of emotion. “The calm, reasonable language of the computer provided quite a contrast to the hostility and mean-spiritedness of most of the teachers’ comments (P149).” Sommers clarifies that accidents of discourse have no place in the early sequence and that comments in these areas early on create contradiction and confusion. She cited some helpful examples of contradictory information in the comments: “edit but expand.” Although well intended, these comments inspire inertia and do not give a roadmap for how to proceed through the revision process.

In the last essay, Revision Strategies of Student Writers and Experienced Adult Writers, Sommers stressed the importance of the recursive shaping of thought through writing. Fundamentally repetition is a part of the process she lays out. I believe that the burden here rests on the teacher to make a clear and non-emotional structure which is loose enough for each time of student to practice repetition and lots of it.

I also thought it was essential to address that the teacher can confuse the student’s purpose. “Teachers’ comments can take students’ attention away from their purposes in writing a particular text and focus that attention on the teachers’ purpose in commenting(p151).” Students make the changes the teacher wants as opposed to excavating their clarity. Also, the comments are also generic and vague. “We have observed an overwhelming similarity in the generalities and abstract commands given to students. The accepted, albeit unwritten cannon for comment. Uniform code of commands, requests, and pleading. Students have trouble with the vague directives. Revising becomes a guessing game.” For example, “choose precise language.”  What does that mean? This is compounded by not being offered any strategies for doing so. (P153) There is no connection with the mentor and no reciprocal motivation. I believe that motivation is often generated in the exchange between teacher and student. This requires a skilled structure that provides the necessary guided repetition that leads to the recursive shaping of thought through writing.

 

  • I want to revisit this material and connect it to another body of work I have read:

Mirrors in the Brain. A particular class of brain cells reflects the outside world, MIND revealing a new avenue for human understanding, connecting and learning. By Giacomo Rizzolatti, Leonardo Fogassi and Vittorio Gallese

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/c0b0/8b5d4602aa519e34b0c743722e38fdc8f8d5.pdf

 

  • I have been working on a structure that is very rough at the moment, but I am going to include it here as a reminder to revisit it in the future. Part of it is included in my vignette entry for my theme in our “Small Bites of Knowledge” project.

 

 

Columns: and the art of repetition. Layer in progress incrementally

Column 1: the skills that require the repetition of drilling (grammar, spelling & punctuation) Requires objective drills and non-emotional redirection (Sommers study with Writer’s Workbench) Focus on making a skill repeatable. The practice of what it means to choose precise and concise language.) give the variation on the two groups snow photo.

Relates to Sommers research: To offer a useful revision strategy to a student,

the teacher must anchor that strategy in the specifics of the student’s text. p153

“to elaborate,” does not show our student what questions the

reader has about the meaning of the text, or what breaks in logic exist, that could be resolved if the writer supplied specific information; nor is the student shown how to achieve the desired specificity. The problem here is a confusion of process and product; what one has to say about the process is different from what one has to say about the product.”

 

Column 2: Language of an argument. Repetition of craft. More space around this than the drill. What do you mean? The listener gets to ask questions. The writer gets to write their answers. How do we create engaging activities that make this skill repeatable?

Mentorship required. Sometimes peer review is pointless depending on the pairing.

Column 3: Refinement

  • All three columns can be worked on simultaneously. Differs from the linear view. It is a horizontal spread. Or perhaps like a snowflake.

 

 

 

 

Responding to Student Writers Article Review

In her article Responding to Student Writers university professor, Nancy Sommers discusses the topic of teachers responding to student papers. In the beginning, she explains that this process is time-consuming and ineffective. While it is the most significant part of a teachers job research has shown that this action has little to do with student success in writing and the process overall is misunderstood. This misunderstanding is the main focus of her article. 

Sommers writes that teachers comment on student papers for two main reasons. 

  1. Thus, we comment on student writing to dramatize the presence of a reader, to help our students to become that questioning reader themselves, because, ultimately, we believe that becoming such a reader will help them to evaluate what they have written and develop control over their writing. (pg. 148)
  2. Even more specifically, however, we comment on student writing because we believe that it is necessary for us to offer assistance to student writers when they are in the process of composing a text, rather than after the text has been completed. (pg. 149)

With these two reasons in mind, it is important to know that teachers commenting on student papers is a well-intended practice necessary to create great writers. Often times students believe that their writing communicates well to the reader in sound reasoning and logic, however, it is not always the case. So it is important as teachers to make those comments on student papers so that they will write more effectively, stick to the topic and have an intelligible paper overall. Even so, Sommers argues that the way teachers comment on student papers is vague and lack direction.

The Research

In order to prove the vagueness and ineffectiveness of teacher comments, Sommers mentions a scientific research conducted by her and several other professional colleagues. In the study, a total of thirty-five different teachers at New York University and the University of Oklahoma commented on a set of three student essays.  The result of this research shows that when students received comments and feedback on their papers, they were confused and left to question the ways to best improve their papers. Additionally, she makes a comparison between teacher comments and a computer software ready-made comment for student papers and concludes that unlike teacher comments “the calm, reasonable language of the computer provided quite a contrast to the hostility and mean-spiritedness of most of the teachers’ comments” (pg.149).  In essence, teacher comments are not properly communicating ways for students to edit their papers.

The sharp contrast between the teachers’ comments and those of the computer highlighted how arbitrary and idiosyncratic most of our teachers’ comments are. (pg.149)

Additionally, she presents two different set of teacher feedbacks to show how teacher comments can be difficult for students to understand.  These different comments are interlinear and marginal.

“The interlinear comments and the marginal comments represent two separate tasks for this student” (pg.151).

  • The interlinear comments: encourage the student to see the text as a fixed piece, frozen in time, that just needs some editing.
  • The marginal comments: suggest that the meaning of the text is not fixed, but rather that the student still needs to develop the meaning by doing some more research.

Another type of comment she mentions that teachers often write on student papers is the “rubber-stamped” ( pg.152) type of comment. In the second writing example, she shows how a teacher comments are not texted specific and could be interchangeable. This means that because of its vagueness and lack of specificity these same comments can be made and applied to any student paper.  These types of comments are not encouraging for students and often times creates a more problematic step in the revision process. I agree with Sommers argument that these forms of comments are hindering student success because then they become more worried about correcting the teacher’s feedback on their paper instead of confidently writing in their own voice. The student is more concerned about getting a good grade overall on the paper.

“It is possible, and it quite often happens, that students follow every comment and fix their texts appropriately as requested, but their texts are not improved substantially, or, even worse, their revised drafts are inferior to their previous drafts” (pg. 151).

Proposal- Moving Forward 

Written comments need to be viewed not as an end in themselves-a way for teachers to satisfy themselves that they have done their jobs-but rather as a means for helping students to become more effective writers. (pg.155)

After making these key points and further elaborating in details, Sommers suggest that for teachers to have a more effective influence on student writing,  they need to take into consideration that the draft is not the final copy. Meaning, that over time students will continue to work on their papers. I liked that Sommers brought this up for clarification, I agree that often times teachers fail to keep in mind that the final draft is just an accumulation of ideas and thoughts for the paper. There is no need to comment on student grammar or spelling and other such little errors that can easily get fixed in the revision process. Instead, teachers should comment on the formatting and meaning of the text because those are the most imperative aspects of a paper. Asking students to “be more specific” is not required because there are more steps to complete in order to fully formulate thoughts and ideas in a paper.

Some other points she makes in regards to teachers commenting on student papers is that they should

  • read student text without biases “about what the writer should have said or about
    what he or she should have written” (pg. 154)
  • show students how to patch up parts of their texts, instead of finding errors (pg. 154).

Overall her article makes great points about teachers commenting on student papers. One reflection that stood out to me was her making a distinction between the process and the final product. She mentions that another way to fix the ineffective problem of teachers commenting on student papers is for teachers to differentiate between a draft and the final paper. She writes, “The problem here is a confusion of process and product; what one has to say about the process is different from what one has to say about the product” (pg.154). She concludes her article with this point and I believe that when teachers read this article and take this advice into consideration they will become better at responding to student papers.

Read the article Here!

Responding to Student Writers Article Review

In her article Responding to Student Writers university professor, Nancy Sommers discusses the topic of teachers responding to student papers. In the beginning, she explains that this process is time-consuming and ineffective. While it is the most significant part of a teachers job research has shown that this action has little to do with student success in writing and the process overall is misunderstood. This misunderstanding is the main focus of her article. 

Sommers writes that teachers comment on student papers for two main reasons. 

  1. Thus, we comment on student writing to dramatize the presence of a reader, to help our students to become that questioning reader themselves, because, ultimately, we believe that becoming such a reader will help them to evaluate what they have written and develop control over their writing. (pg. 148)
  2. Even more specifically, however, we comment on student writing because we believe that it is necessary for us to offer assistance to student writers when they are in the process of composing a text, rather than after the text has been completed. (pg. 149)

With these two reasons in mind, it is important to know that teachers commenting on student papers is a well-intended practice necessary to create great writers. Often times students believe that their writing communicates well to the reader in sound reasoning and logic, however, it is not always the case. So it is important as teachers to make those comments on student papers so that they will write more effectively, stick to the topic and have an intelligible paper overall. Even so, Sommers argues that the way teachers comment on student papers is vague and lack direction.

The Research

In order to prove the vagueness and ineffectiveness of teacher comments, Sommers mentions a scientific research conducted by her and several other professional colleagues. In the study, a total of thirty-five different teachers at New York University and the University of Oklahoma commented on a set of three student essays.  The result of this research shows that when students received comments and feedback on their papers, they were confused and left to question the ways to best improve their papers. Additionally, she makes a comparison between teacher comments and a computer software ready-made comment for student papers and concludes that unlike teacher comments “the calm, reasonable language of the computer provided quite a contrast to the hostility and mean-spiritedness of most of the teachers’ comments” (pg.149).  In essence, teacher comments are not properly communicating ways for students to edit their papers.

The sharp contrast between the teachers’ comments and those of the computer highlighted how arbitrary and idiosyncratic most of our teachers’ comments are. (pg.149)

Additionally, she presents two different set of teacher feedbacks to show how teacher comments can be difficult for students to understand.  These different comments are interlinear and marginal.

“The interlinear comments and the marginal comments represent two separate tasks for this student” (pg.151).

  • The interlinear comments: encourage the student to see the text as a fixed piece, frozen in time, that just needs some editing.
  • The marginal comments: suggest that the meaning of the text is not fixed, but rather that the student still needs to develop the meaning by doing some more research.

Another type of comment she mentions that teachers often write on student papers is the “rubber-stamped” ( pg.152) type of comment. In the second writing example, she shows how a teacher comments are not texted specific and could be interchangeable. This means that because of its vagueness and lack of specificity these same comments can be made and applied to any student paper.  These types of comments are not encouraging for students and often times creates a more problematic step in the revision process. I agree with Sommers argument that these forms of comments are hindering student success because then they become more worried about correcting the teacher’s feedback on their paper instead of confidently writing in their own voice. The student is more concerned about getting a good grade overall on the paper.

“It is possible, and it quite often happens, that students follow every comment and fix their texts appropriately as requested, but their texts are not improved substantially, or, even worse, their revised drafts are inferior to their previous drafts” (pg. 151).

Proposal- Moving Forward 

Written comments need to be viewed not as an end in themselves-a way for teachers to satisfy themselves that they have done their jobs-but rather as a means for helping students to become more effective writers. (pg.155)

After making these key points and further elaborating in details, Sommers suggest that for teachers to have a more effective influence on student writing,  they need to take into consideration that the draft is not the final copy. Meaning, that over time students will continue to work on their papers. I liked that Sommers brought this up for clarification, I agree that often times teachers fail to keep in mind that the final draft is just an accumulation of ideas and thoughts for the paper. There is no need to comment on student grammar or spelling and other such little errors that can easily get fixed in the revision process. Instead, teachers should comment on the formatting and meaning of the text because those are the most imperative aspects of a paper. Asking students to “be more specific” is not required because there are more steps to complete in order to fully formulate thoughts and ideas in a paper.

Some other points she makes in regards to teachers commenting on student papers is that they should

  • read student text without biases “about what the writer should have said or about
    what he or she should have written” (pg. 154)
  • show students how to patch up parts of their texts, instead of finding errors (pg. 154).

Overall her article makes great points about teachers commenting on student papers. One reflection that stood out to me was her making a distinction between the process and the final product. She mentions that another way to fix the ineffective problem of teachers commenting on student papers is for teachers to differentiate between a draft and the final paper. She writes, “The problem here is a confusion of process and product; what one has to say about the process is different from what one has to say about the product” (pg.154). She concludes her article with this point and I believe that when teachers read this article and take this advice into consideration they will become better at responding to student papers.

Read the article Here!