Fraizer on coaching transfer in context

Not much time to work on the prospectus today, but I did read Fraizer’s 2010 article on coaching transfer after FYC.  His point is that transfer coaching strategies (he pulls these from Beaufort: genre analysis, discourse community analysis, and metacognitive reflection) should be done when students are encountering new writing situations and new disciplines.  He points to “writing studios” and writing centers as places where this kind of transfer coaching can be done. 

I agree that “in context” coaching for transfer seems logical, but I’m not sure I’m ready to abandon having students reflect a lot in first year comp.  And new media composition offers a space where they can experience diverse writing situations IN the writing class, using diverse materials.  Can’t FYC be used to develop a “metacognitive foundation” for the awareness to come, if you will?  I will have to consider more.

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3 thoughts on “Fraizer on coaching transfer in context

  1. Hey Crystal. I’ve read this and your last post about transfer. Thanks! I really like Jarratt et al.’s piece and Frazier’s, too. And don’t Jarratt et al. talk about interview contexts as a type of third space? An interview is both a research and pedagogical intervention in that you’re providing a space for students to access their pedagogical memories. Maybe I just read that into their argument.

    I also agree with you about FYC. The way I see it, ideally students in FYC can be given some conceptual tools — like discourse community, genre, audience, purpose, argumentation, epistemological differences in argumentation, etc., etc. — and analytic/reflection tools for genre analysis, metacognitive reflection between assignments (or before starting a new assignment). Then in upper-level WID courses, given an opportunity to explicitly discuss matters of disciplinarity in their writing. Your ideal student would then be able to say things to themselves like, “Okay, I need to write an analytic review in my political theory course; I know I’ve practiced an analytic review in my English 125 course, but the genre must be a little different in this field because of X and Y.”

    The problem I’ve been thinking about is whether in WID courses student are in fact given opportunities to reflect on their writing. Many faculty members don’t see writing in terms of field or genre variation. They’re so entrenched in the taken-for-granted epistemological assumptions that disciplinary variations are invisible — “this is just clear and precise writing!” By this thinking, writing is a general skill that should be taught and nailed down in 125. Perhaps awareness of this is yet another aspect of writing meta awareness that needs to be part of the FYC tool kit: “Now, your professor is going to say X and assign Y, but now you know that what that really means is A and you can approach this by doing B.” So, once again ideally, there would be third spaces where this type of thinking is encouraged.

    But. yea, this is cool that you’re thinking through these articles. I tend to cite Jarratt et al when I need backing for the assertion that students need a metalanguage about writing. Research shows that higher performing writers have a more precise way of conceptualizing writing,

  2. Zak – thanks for your thoughts! Yes, Jarratt et al talk about how the interview itself for some of their participants was a mechanism the students used to develop metacog awareness of what they had learned. And I so agree that one of the problems with upper level / WID writing courses is that students aren’t given opportunities to reflect or to step back and think about what they’re doing when they’re writing and why. I can see why this isn’t happening though – I was never taught to have students reflect before, during, and after they write, but I’ve found that this kind of continuous reflection is becoming one of the most important aspects of my pedagogy. Teachers across the disciplines need to know this and try it. Your study might open a door to recommend something like this to instructors….??

    I was also looking at Thaiss and Zawacki’s 3-tiers of student writers: the third more advanced stage is the coherence-within-diversity stage where students draw from experiences past and are able to adapt to the present context.

    Next up – I connect all this to new media. 🙂

  3. I’m happy to see we’re reading the same stuff! I’ve recently been using the concept of coherence-within-diversity a lot.

    Right, connect all this to new media. Please do. That way I’ll have a “way in” to new media. Right now I’m standing outside the gates looking for the key.

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