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ERIC Number: EJ924991
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 46
ISSN: ISSN-0092-055X
"My Understanding Has Grown, My Perspective Has Switched": Linking Informal Writing to Learning Goals
Hudd, Suzanne S.; Smart, Robert A.; Delohery, Andrew W.
Teaching Sociology, v39 n2 p179-189 Apr 2011
The use of informal writing is common in sociology. This article presents one model for integrating informal written work with learning goals through a theoretical framework known as concentric thinking. More commonly referred to as "the PTA model" because of the series of cognitive tasks it promotes--prioritization, translation, and analogy (PTA)--concentric thinking practiced through PTA provides a basis for structuring students' informal writing over the course of a semester. The authors present data in which students use PTA to assess their journal entries as text at the end of the semester. The students' informal responses to their own writing demonstrate the achievement of an important course goal--the development of sociological mindfulness--while they also reveal a deeper understanding of the important features of written work. The authors conclude that when informal writing is purposefully linked to a set of thinking goals and learning outcomes that are necessary to complete formal course requirements, it can serve as a powerful teaching tool to enhance both thinking and the ability to convey thoughts in writing. Structured in this way, informal written work can enable us to observe and assess changes in students' learning that would otherwise remain invisible, and it can alter our pedagogy in fundamental ways. (Contains 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A