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ERIC Number: EJ1116286
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar-29
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1554-8244
Challenging Our Practices, Supporting Our Theories: Writing Mentors as Change Agents across Discourse Communities
Mullin, Joan; Schorn, Susan; Turner, Tim; Hertz, Rachel; Davidson, Derek; Baca, Amanda
Across the Disciplines, v5 spec iss Mar 2008
Classroom-based writing mentors facilitate learning and knowledge transfer for both students and instructors in their classes. They accomplish this by doing "with" rather than by only teaching "to", making the means of learning more visible and, therefore, the writing goals more accessible; this provides a powerful means of furthering WAC goals and objectives on campuses. Since mentors are typically not experts in the discipline in which they work, they must rhetorically read the class and the discipline, articulating this process for the instructor and other students. This gives students a better understanding of how the disciplinary discourse operates, and shows instructors the challenges students in the class face as they attempt to enter that discourse. Mentors' dual status as both peer and expert expands the range of social interactions in the classroom community of practice, helping to expose the motives that drive students' writing, and the motives that should drive the activity of writing in the discipline. Drawing on research emerging from WAC, writing center, and literacy practices, this article theorizes the experiences of four classroom writing mentors in order to better understand how this process works, and how it might be duplicated in other institutional contexts as a means of faculty and student development to create a culture of writing.
WAC Clearinghouse. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523. Tel: 970-491-3132; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A