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ERIC Number: ED346463
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Nov-23
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
An Ethnographic Approach to Teaching Writing in a Freshman Composition Classroom.
Wong, Penelope A.
A semester-long, introductory, freshman composition class (24 students) engaged in fieldwork, interviews, workshopping, a literature review, an ethnography, and a final paper allowing the student to critique their experiences with the ethnographic process. The first 2 weeks were spent familiarizing students with the ethnographic process. Through fieldwork (begun in the third week), students learned to become critical and sensitive participant observers of the subculture they were studying. Students interviewed two informants of their choice. In groups of three or four, students critiqued each others' written work. Students honed their critical skills and were able to place their own work in perspective by writing a literature review. About three-quarters of the way through the course, the students finished their ethnographies, which were reproduced and bound for the students to read. All the students read the collection and then wrote a final paper about the ethnographies they read. Perhaps the most important aspect of the ethnographic process is that students begin to see how their own cultural ideas and beliefs influence how they portrayed the subculture they portrayed. The instructor must work with as many different projects as there are students and be familiar with ethnographic techniques. The ethnographic approach is a valuable tool in the freshman composition classroom because it exemplifies many aspects of the writing process and makes the students integrate information from a variety of sources, showing them that writing is more than just words on paper. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A