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ERIC Number: ED467338
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
Introductory Textbooks and Plagiarism in Higher Education: A Case Study from Economics.
Richardson, Paul
Center for Studies in Higher Education
Textbooks are powerful technologies that are foundational to introductory level courses. In the research site of an introductory economic classroom, the textbook is positioned as having status similar to that of a canonical religious text. This study investigated how student reading and writing can be problematic when introductory level courses rely heavily on a textbook. The study was part of a larger study of the literacy and learning of first-year economics students. Thirteen students were interviewed on two occasions to capture and interpret the meanings they associated with the experiences of the literacy, social practices, and cultural practices of introductory economics. Findings show that by positioning the textbook as an authoritative text on which students are expected to rely, the teaching staff unwittingly generated concerns and fears among students when writing in the course. The concerns and fears about plagiarism that framed their writing were either confirmed or alleviated when their first assignment was marked and returned. Evidence from this study suggests that introductory textbooks may make learning to read and write economics more difficult than insiders in the discipline would imagine. (Contains 2 figures and 49 references.) (SLD)
Center for Studies in Higher Education. University of California, Berkeley, 771 Evans Hall #4650, Berkeley, CA 94720-4650. Tel: 510-642-5040; Fax: 510-643-6845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 1-5, 2002). Figure 2 contains copyrighted material and is not included in the ERIC version.