On Tuesday 10.18.11 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., several transfer scholars (Barbara Bird, Debra Dew, Douglas Downs, David Slomp, and Elizabeth Wardle) discussed Writing About Writing (WAW) curricula and teaching for transfer with members of the Composition Program by Skype. In this conversation, these scholars addressed central issues in transfer research, teaching to promote transfer, and supporting instructors in learning how to teach for transfer. Their discussion of research-related issues emphasized opportunities for emerging scholars, as well as the need to develop more robust theories of transfer and to examine how socio-cultural and individual factors, as well as curricula and pedagogy, shape transfer. In addressing teaching for transfer, they stressed the wide range of scholarship – such as linguistic diversity – that can usefully stand at the center of a WAW course. Some participants also described how their programs involved instructors in developing WAW/transfer curricula, and their accounts stressed the importance of instructors’ intellectual engagement with writing studies scholarship (broadly defined as including rhetorical, literacy, genre, and composition studies).
An audio file of the discussion and a list of selected publications by these scholars are available below. Please note that David Slomp is now working on what promises to be a fascinating article on the need to study how inter- and intrapersonal factors shape transfer. In that piece he argues for a transactional theory of transfer.
Bird, Barbara. “Meaning-Making Concepts: Basic Writers’ Access to Verbal Culture.” Basic Writing eJournal. 8/9 (2009-2010): 1-18.
Dew, Debra Frank. “Language Matters: Rhetoric and Writing I as Content Course.” Writing Program Administration. 26.3 (2003): 87-104.
Downs, Doug and Elizabeth Wardle. “Teaching about Writing, Righting Misconceptions: (Re)envisioning ‘First-Year Composition’ as Introduction to Writing Studies.” CCC. 53.4 (2007): 552-584.
Wardle, Elizabeth. “’Mutt Genres’ and the Goal of FYC: Can We Help Students Write the Genres of the University.” CCC. 60.4 (2009): 765-789.