ERIC Number: ED361720
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Does Writing as Process = Writing as Social Practice?
Cazden, Courtney B.
The workplace research of Sylvia Scribner provides a model with which to study relationships between socially and institutionally organized practices and individual cognitive processes as well as to explore relationships between practices and processes in writing and the teaching of writing. Observations and conversations in one inner-city, multi-ethnic middle school reveal how social, cultural, and institutional structures influence assignments and peer conferences. For example, "problem-solution" essays frequently required of eighth grade students represent a variant of a genre expected in the state (California) competency requirements; however, no effort is made by teachers to connect these assignments to social practices outside school, such as writing newspaper editorials. Consequently, when asking the question "Does writing as process = writing as social practice?" it seems they are at opposite ends of an admittedly controversial dimension, the dimension of hypothesized transfer. Because evidence for the transferable power of general writing knowledge is inconclusive, it is important that educators remember the challenge of the process question about "what transfers." Perhaps transferable skills cannot be taught in any narrow direct way but will be stimulated by the demands of varying purposes and audiences. (A Process-Practice diagram is attached.) (NH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California