ERIC Number: ED397675
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Academic Literacy on Two Continents: The Role of Community Norms.
Newman, Michael; Trenchs, Mireia
A study in two countries investigated college students' conceptions of "academic literacy," defined as the system of information exchange or mastery of the elements of such a system. Subjects were nine students, four at Ohio State University, a long-established "mega-university," and five at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, a small, newly-established university (Barcelona, Spain). Data were gathered through student reading logs, weekly interviews, examination of tests, papers, and exercises, and analyses of assigned readings. It was found that in both contexts, students were engaged in an information processing "game," a rule-governed activity, consisting of information retrieval, manipulation, processing, and display. These activities are largely driven by the assessment process. The game's demands for information processing and display clashed with the students' self-imposed curriculums, creating dissatisfaction for them. The more academically successful the student, the more clearly he appeared to be able to articulate the differences between the game and his perceived learning. All expressed interest in learning. However, student behavior differed in the two contexts in approaches to written language and in the nature of the self-imposed curriculum. Contains 23 references. Some interview excerpts in Catalan are appended. (MSE)
Descriptors: Behavior Patterns, Cognitive Processes, College Preparation, College Students, Comparative Analysis, Comparative Education, Educational Attitudes, Information Processing, Learning Processes, Literacy, Local Norms, Reading Processes, Spanish, Standards, Student Attitudes, Student Behavior
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (18th, Chicago, IL, March 23-26, 1996).