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ERIC Number: ED561715
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 169
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3034-2603-2
From Synapse to Syntax: The Science of Learning and the Teaching of Writing
Lancia, Kathleen A. St. Peters
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Saint Louis University
To best meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student population, we must develop an integrative writing pedagogy that is informed by what the cognitive and neurosciences have uncovered about learning so that our theories of learning and practices of instruction are consistent with our most current and accurate knowledge of the biological and psychological processes of brain development and cognition. This dissertation reviews the history of composition studies and reveals the relationship between theories of learning and models of writing. This historical look at composition studies and survey of cognitive theory proves the necessity of reintegrating into writing studies what has been systematically ignored for thirty years. An integrated approach to teaching writing acknowledges that learning happens differently for each individual based on a variety of factors, including biology, psychology, and social circumstance. The second chapter, "The Thinking Brain: Scientific, Behavioral, and Cognitive Psychology," traces the development of the field of cognitive psychology that has led to a new understanding of the mind as a complex and integrated network of hierarchically organized mental processes. The third chapter, "The Learning Brain: Neuroscience and Cognition," surveys the early advances in neuroscience, which brought about new ways of seeing the mind in action, of measuring, and theorizing the cognitive processes that underlie human thought and behavior. The fourth chapter, "The Processing Brain: Neural Networks and Cybernetics," looks at how the electronic computer has been used as both a research tool and a model of the mind, providing a new view of the brain as a processor. The fifth chapter, "Reflections and Refractions: A Historical Review of the Cognitive Roots of Composition Studies," traces the development of various cognitive approaches to composition studies from the foundation of the field through the early twenty-first century. The sixth chapter, "Growing Minds: An Integrated Approach to Teaching Writing," concludes by pointing toward the development of a truly integrated model of teaching writing in which we must acknowledge that learning happens differently for each individual based on a variety of factors, including biology, psychology, and social circumstance. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A