ERIC Number: ED225174
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Oct
Reference Count: 0
The Development of Discursive Maturity in College Writers.
Hays, Janice N.
William G. Perry, Jr.'s, ideas on the development of student writers were used as a frame of reference for a study of the discursive development of students enrolled in writing seminars at Skidmore College (New York). Perry posits that students execute a series of maneuvers in which they first try to assimilate new perspectives they are confronting to the dualistic framework that they bring with them to college. This process occupies the first three positions in his six-position scheme. In positions four, five, and six, students come to realize fully the multiplicity of experience, with position five being the turning point where students must completely modify their perceptions of reality. All papers were written upon one of two topics involving identical rhetorical situations. The 12 papers selected for analysis displayed these stages. In comparison to papers at the lower stages, the complexity of the papers at the higher stages increased geometrically in T-unit length, discourse structure, elaboration of argument, and sophistication of diction. The transition from stage four to stage five, from multiplicity to relativism, was most difficult for these writers. These results imply that (1) liberal arts education promotes development, (2) students must write in all classes, and (3) heuristic procedures that force students to new viewpoints are extremely valuable. (JL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Perry (William G Jr)
Note: Paper presented at the Meeting of the Conference on "The Writer's Mind" (Saratoga Springs, NY, October 1980).