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ERIC Number: EJ1080531
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1534-9322
From Story to Analysis: Reflection and Uptake in the Literacy Narrative Assignment
Alexander, Kara Poe
Composition Studies, v43 n2 p43-71 Fall 2015
The literacy narrative assignment is popular with composition instructors because of the reflection it encourages in students. Previously, scholars have claimed that students demonstrate reflection in literacy narratives when they critique dominant ideologies. Largely absent, however, is research on what other elements might indicate reflection and thus inspire "instructor uptake," defined here as a positive response by an instructor to regard some part of the text as reflection. This essay therefore seeks to discover the core composition features that stimulate instructor uptake by examining what elements instructors identify as reflection in student literacy narratives. Think-aloud protocols were conducted with seven instructors and findings showed that three elements generate instructor uptake: analytical moves of cause-effect and evaluation (69%); vivid, metaphoric language (20%); and ideological critiques (11%). Findings also revealed that when instructors observed ideological critiques as reflection, they were more apt to amplify the reflection for students. These data underscore the need for revamping our literacy narrative pedagogies to more adequately emphasize critical analysis and evaluation rather than ideological critique. By clarifying what composition instructors mean by reflection, we can design equitable writing assignments, begin to defend against our own biases, and foster more democratic classrooms.
University of Cincinnati. Department of English, P.O. Box 210069, Cincinnati, OH 45221. Tel: 513-556-6519; Fax: 513-556-5960; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A