ERIC Number: ED323830
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Knowing, Learning, and Writing: Patterns in Students' Understanding of Academic Work.
Kurfiss, Joanne Gainen
The paper describes four major patterns that emerge in studies of college student intellectual development. Quotations from students' writing about their epistemological beliefs and quotations from professors' writing concerning their courses and students are related to the four patterns. Characteristics of student writing associated with each developmental pattern are presented along with illustrative examples. The four patterns are: (1) entering the academic world--dualism and received knowing (writing may focus on facts, and opinions may be fairly dogmatic); (2) multiplicity and subjective knowing (writing may express opinions without concern for persuasion); (3) relativism and procedural knowledge (writing may well provide a context for the reader, including opposing viewpoints, but often does not include a definite position on the subject); and (4) commitment in relativism and constructed knowing (writing is likely to be a mature blending of logic, empathy, and ethical concern that is neither moralistic nor simplistic). The document notes the relative rarity of the two more advanced positions among college undergraduates and the danger implicit in "commitment" assignments in encouraging premature solidification of student opinions. Includes 12 references. (DB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Prepared for the Annual Institute on Writing Across the Curriculum, Minnesota Community Colleges (Brainard, MN, August 19-22, 1990).