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ERIC Number: EJ1137810
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1522-7502
Down the Rabbit Hole: Challenges and Methodological Recommendations in Researching Writing-Related Student Dispositions
Driscoll, Dana Lynn; Gorzelsky, Gwen; Wells, Jennifer; Hayes, Carol; Jones, Ed; Salchak, Steve
Composition Forum, v35 Spr 2017
Researching writing-related dispositions is of critical concern for understanding writing transfer and writing development. However, as a field we need better tools and methods for identifying, tracking, and analyzing dispositions. This article describes a failed attempt to code for five key dispositions (attribution, self-efficacy, persistence, value, and self-regulation) in a longitudinal, mixed methods, multi-institutional study that otherwise successfully coded for other writing transfer factors. We present a "study of a study" that examines our coders' attempts to identify and code dispositions and describes broader understandings from those findings. Our findings suggest that each disposition presents a distinct challenge for coding and that dispositions, as a group, involve not only conceptual complexity but also cultural, psychological, and temporal complexity. For example, academic literacy learning and dispositions intersect with systems of socio-economic, political, and cultural inequity and exploitation; this entwining presents substantial problems for coders. Methodological considerations for understanding the complexity of codes, effectively and accurately coding for dispositions, considering the four complexities, and understanding the interplay between the individual and the social are explored. We describe how concepts from literacy studies scholarship may help shape writing transfer scholarship concerning dispositions and transfer research more broadly.
Association of Teachers of Advanced Composition. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A