Reframing academic literacy: re-examining a short-course for 'disadvantaged' tertiary students

Article


Henderson, Robyn and Hirst, Elizabeth. 2007. "Reframing academic literacy: re-examining a short-course for 'disadvantaged' tertiary students." English Teaching: Practice and Critique. 6 (2), pp. 25-38.
Article Title

Reframing academic literacy: re-examining a short-course for 'disadvantaged' tertiary students

ERA Journal ID35666
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsHenderson, Robyn (Author) and Hirst, Elizabeth (Author)
Journal TitleEnglish Teaching: Practice and Critique
Journal Citation6 (2), pp. 25-38
Number of Pages14
Year2007
Place of PublicationHamilton, NZ
ISSN1175-8708
Web Address (URL)http://education.waikato.ac.nz/research/files/etpc/2007v6n2art2.pdf
Abstract

This paper revisits a successful short-course in academic literacy that was conducted for 50 ‘disadvantaged’ students enrolled in the first year of an education degree at an Australian regional university (see Hirst, Henderson, Allan, Bode & Kocatepe, 2004). Based on a sociocultural approach to learning and drawing on a conceptualisation of tertiary literacy as a social practice, the short-course disrupted deficit views of individual students and worked to help students expand their literate repertoires. However, recent discussions about learning have helped to problematise academic literacy and its place within an increasingly plural, multicultural, multilingual and textually multimodal society (Gee, 2003, 2004; Kalantzis & Cope, 2004; The New London Group, 1996). Rather than accepting academic literacy as the metaphoric opening of a “significant gate to economic success and sociopolitical power” (Gee, 2004, p.91), recent views suggest that a homogenisation is at work and that courses in academic literacy serve to enculturate students into particular – and possibly outdated – social and literacy practices. Gee (2004), for example, argues that academic language represents a family of “old literacies” and that the take-up of language “once thought to be central to what counted as a ‘schooled’ and ‘intelligent’ person is now at best a necessary, but not sufficient condition for success in society” (p.94). Drawing on Gee’s (2003, 2004, 2005) discussions of learning principles in multi-mediated contexts, and his preference for the notion of affinity spaces over communities of practice, this paper reframes academic literacy, then considers whether the short-course described above – which was judged as successful – has the potential to work with the increasing diversity of tertiary students’ learning and life experiences as well as to prepare them for successful participation in tertiary education contexts.

Keywordsacademic literacy; tertiary literacy; literacies; situated learning; community of practice; affinity spaces; enculturation; new pedagogies
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390307. Teacher education and professional development of educators
390104. English and literacy curriculum and pedagogy (excl. LOTE, ESL and TESOL)
390303. Higher education
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Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Education
Griffith University
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Henderson, Robyn. 2009. "Itinerant farm workers' children in Australia: learning from the experiences of one family." Danaher, Patrick Alan, Kenny, Mairin and Remy Leder, Judith (ed.) Traveller, nomadic and migrant education. New York, NY. United States. Routledge. pp. 47-58
Digital literacies in two low socioeconomic classrooms: snapshots of practice
Henderson, Robyn and Honan, Eileen. 2008. "Digital literacies in two low socioeconomic classrooms: snapshots of practice." English Teaching: Practice and Critique. 7 (2), pp. 85-98.
Contemporary educational research: selected tactics and tools for traversing and transforming the terrains
Henderson, Robyn and Danaher, Patrick Alan. 2008. "Contemporary educational research: selected tactics and tools for traversing and transforming the terrains." Henderson, Robyn and Danaher, Patrick Alan (ed.) Troubling terrains: tactics for traversing and transforming contemporary educational research. Brisbane, Australia. Post Pressed. pp. 1-15
Dangerous terrains: negotiating ethical dilemmas
Henderson, Robyn. 2008. "Dangerous terrains: negotiating ethical dilemmas." Henderson, Robyn and Danaher, Patrick Alan (ed.) Troubling terrains: tactics for traversing and transforming contemporary educational research. Brisbane, Australia. Post Pressed. pp. 211-222
Spatial imaginaries and the student learning journey in higher education: transition as a contested space
Noble, Karen and Henderson, Robyn. 2008. "Spatial imaginaries and the student learning journey in higher education: transition as a contested space." Thomas, Jason (ed.) FYHE 2008: An Apple for the Learner: Celebrating the First year Experience. Hobart, Australia 30 Jun - 02 Jul 2008 Brisbane, Australia.
Pre-service teachers developing literacy identities
Petersen, Shauna and Henderson, Robyn. 2008. "Pre-service teachers developing literacy identities." Cormack, Philip (ed.) 2008 ALEA/AATE National Conference: Stories, Places, Spaces: Literacy and Identity. Adelaide, Australia 06 - 09 Jul 2008 Canberra, Australia.
Professional conversations: teacher educators making sense of literacy pedagogies
Henderson, Robyn and Petersen, Shauna. 2008. "Professional conversations: teacher educators making sense of literacy pedagogies." Cormack, Philip (ed.) 2008 ALEA/AATE National Conference: Stories, Places, Spaces: Literacy and Identity. Adelaide, Australia 06 - 09 Jul 2008 Canberra, Australia.
Mobilising multiliteracies: pedagogy for mobile students
Henderson, Robyn. 2008. "Mobilising multiliteracies: pedagogy for mobile students." Healy, Annah (ed.) Multiliteracies and diversity in education: new pedagogies for expanding landscapes. Melbourne, Vic, Australia. Oxford University Press. pp. 168-200
Guest editors' introduction to special theme issue [of International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning]: Doctoral designers: challenges and opportunities in planning and conducting educational research
Henderson, Robyn and Danaher, Patrick Alan. 2008. "Guest editors' introduction to special theme issue [of International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning]: Doctoral designers: challenges and opportunities in planning and conducting educational research." International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning. 4 (2), pp. 1-5.
Investigating the engagement of 3rd year tertiary education students in the learning and teaching of literacy
Henderson, Robyn and Petersen, Shauna. 2007. "Investigating the engagement of 3rd year tertiary education students in the learning and teaching of literacy." McNamara, Anne, Rickwood, Janet, van Haren, Rita and Vervoorn, Janette (ed.) 2007 AATE/ALEA National Conference: Critical Capital: Teaching and Learning. Canberra, Australia 08 - 11 Jul 2007 Canberra, Australia.
A boy behaving badly: investigating teachers' assumptions about gender, behaviour, mobility and literacy learning
Henderson, Robyn. 2008. "A boy behaving badly: investigating teachers' assumptions about gender, behaviour, mobility and literacy learning." Australian Journal of Language and Literacy. 31 (1), pp. 74-87.
Engaging with images and stories: using a Learning Circle approach to develop agency of beginning 'at-risk' pre-service teachers
Noble, Karen and Henderson, Robyn. 2008. "Engaging with images and stories: using a Learning Circle approach to develop agency of beginning 'at-risk' pre-service teachers." Australian Journal of Teacher Education. 33 (1), pp. 1-16.
Early intervention: a second chance to learn what? For whom? Narratives of learning, discipline and enculturation
Woods, Annette and Henderson, Robyn. 2001. "Early intervention: a second chance to learn what? For whom? Narratives of learning, discipline and enculturation." Shilton, W. and Jeffrey, Peter L. (ed.) Australian Association for Research in Education Annual Conference: Crossing Borders: New Frontiers for Educational Research (2011). Fremantle, Australia 02 - 06 Dec 2001 Melbourne, Australia.
We'd better hide those tats: a transient family tries to fit in to school
Henderson, Robyn. 2005. "We'd better hide those tats: a transient family tries to fit in to school." May, Stephen, Franken, Margaret and Barnard, Roger (ed.) 2003 1st International Conference on Language, Education and Diversity. Hamilton, New Zealand 26 - 29 Nov 2003 Hamilton, New Zealand.
Opening Pandora's Box: ethical dilemmas in literacy research
Henderson, Robyn. 2003. "Opening Pandora's Box: ethical dilemmas in literacy research." Jeffery, Peter L. (ed.) Association for Active Educational Researchers Conference (NZARE/AARE 2003): Educational Research, Risks and Dilemmas. Auckland, New Zealand 29 Nov - 03 Dec 2003 Australia.
Early intervention: narratives of learning, discipline and enculturation
Woods, Annette and Henderson, Robyn. 2002. "Early intervention: narratives of learning, discipline and enculturation." Journal of Early Childhood Literacy. 2 (3), pp. 243-268. https://doi.org/10.1177/14687984020023001
Boys performing English
Alloway, Nola, Gilbert, Pam, Gilbert, Rob and Henderson, Robyn. 2003. "Boys performing English." Gender and Education. 15 (4), pp. 351-364. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540250310001610562
Educational issues for children of itinerant seasonal farm workers: a case study in an Australian context
Henderson, Robyn. 2004. "Educational issues for children of itinerant seasonal farm workers: a case study in an Australian context." International Journal of Inclusive Education. 8 (3), pp. 293-310. https://doi.org/10.1080/1360311042000257708
Repositioning academic literacy: charting the emergence of a community of practice
Hirst, Elizabeth, Henderson, Robyn, Allan, Margaret, Bode, June and Kocatepe, Mehtap. 2004. "Repositioning academic literacy: charting the emergence of a community of practice." Australian Journal of Language and Literacy. 27 (1), pp. 66-80.
A Faircloughian approach to CDA: principled eclecticism or a method searching for a theory?
Henderson, Robyn. 2005. "A Faircloughian approach to CDA: principled eclecticism or a method searching for a theory?" Critical Studies in Education. 46 (2), pp. 9-24.
Words making a difference: what's in a name?
Henderson, Robyn. 2004. "Words making a difference: what's in a name?" Practically Primary. 9 (3), pp. 16-17.
Recognising difference: one of the challenges of using a multiliteracies approach?
Henderson, Robyn. 2004. "Recognising difference: one of the challenges of using a multiliteracies approach?" Practically Primary. 9 (2), pp. 11-14.
Student mobility: issues and pedagogical implications for literacy educators
Henderson, Robyn. 2006. "Student mobility: issues and pedagogical implications for literacy educators." Rennie, Jennifer (ed.) 2006 AATE/ALEA National Conference: Voices, Vibes, Visions. Darwin, Australia 08 - 11 Jul 2006 Darwin, Australia.
How sufficient is academic literacy? re-examining a short-course for 'disadvantaged' tertiary students
Henderson, Robyn and Hirst, Elizabeth. 2007. "How sufficient is academic literacy? re-examining a short-course for 'disadvantaged' tertiary students." Jeffery, Peter L. (ed.) AARE 2006: Australian Association for Research in Education Annual Conference 2006: Engaging Pedagogies. Adelaide, Australia 27 - 30 Nov 2006 Coldstream, Vic, Australia.