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ERIC Number: ED357378
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Mar
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Racing Towards Academic Literacy: BMWs, Tollways, and Bridges.
Adler-Kassner, Linda; Gillen, Shawn
Two composition instructors assigned literacy autobiographies to their students, in the same way the instructors had received such assignments when they were students in a graduate seminar on literacy. One instructor taught at the University of Minnesota's General College (an open admission college), and the other instructor taught in the University's College of Liberal Arts. The instructors compared the literacy autobiographies of their students to those of the seminar members. The instructors expected to find that all the autobiographies would indicate that building a bridge between personal literacies and that of the academy would be difficult, but ultimately valuable. Most of the seminar members described a much more intimate, personal relationship with literacy-related activities than the undergraduate students. The process of bridging the gap between personal and academic literacy was easy for most of the seminar members. Although many of the students tried to mirror the sunny descriptions of literacy found in the seminar members' literacy autobiographies, the students' literacy autobiographies suggested that becoming academically literate was a Faustian bargain, in which they must surrender themselves to the "BMW" that is academic literacy and lose their own identity. The undergraduate students seemed to be neither connected to, nor comfortable with, academic literacy and saw no way to connect it with their personal literacies. As "successful" students, it is the responsibility of composition instructors to show their students that there is space for them to negotiate between personal and academic literacy. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A