ERIC Number: ED345283
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Back to School: Adults in the Freshman Writing Class.
Dobie, Ann B.
A semester-long study examined the needs and goals of adult students. Subjects, 22 adults over the age of 25 years, were selected to represent, as much as possible, a cross section of the older students likely to be found in freshman English courses at a large but not highly selective university. Data included questionnaires completed by the students, written self-analyses completed by the students at the end of the course, classroom observation, and interviews with instructors. Results indicated that: (1) the initial stage of the academic endeavor was the most difficult; (2) students' reasons for entering or returning to college were serious ones; (3) subjects expressed a high degree of confidence about their return to formal schooling; (4) descriptions provided by the instructors were somewhat less positive than those given by the students themselves; (5) writing did not hold a very important place in their lives; and (6) the subjects expressed positive attitudes towards what a composition course had to offer. Findings suggest that, in general, the subjects were unrealistic about their own situations, about what college could do for them, and about what a writing class would ask of them. Composition instructors can enhance the older student's chances for success by: not destroying the enthusiasm and resolve that play a large part in older students' views of attending college; using collaborative learning, peer editing, and reading response groups; introducing students to a variety of writing tasks; and addressing the issue of what constitutes good writing. (Seven figures of data are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Writing Development
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (43rd, Cincinnati, OH, March 19-21, 1992). Accompanying figures may not reproduce legibly, because of several lines of broken print.