ADSHE Conference Workshop Christine Carter June 2014 Background Problem Mainstream social practice approach to writing Our requirement to relate writing problems to dyslexia Background problem Interacting Intervening Between dilemmas of all student writers and dyslexiarelated factors Outline Essay-writing and dyslexia Essay-writing as social practice: what does it mean? Outline of research study Issues for our practice Essay-writing and dyslexia Connections with cognitive markers of dyslexia Doesn’t explain writing difference Interactions between genes, environment and development Deficit/difference within the individual Dyslexia as culturally defined Focus on individual experience within different discourses Essay-writing as social practice Ways we write emerge from social and cultural context Writing as culturally driven as opposed to a set of skills Less emphasis on cognitive activity and development Essay-writing as social practice Social practices are the ways we act, speak, write, feel, value, believe in particular settings Practices are regulated by surrounding discourses Writers are enabled or constrained differently in different disciplinary discourses Essay-writing as social practice Disciplinary discourses influence: how knowledge is constructed the kind of writing identity that is acceptable social relationships (with tutors, disciplinary ‘ways of being’, other texts) Much of this remains implicit Essay-writing research Purpose To understand more about the writing differences amongst this group To embed writers identified as dyslexic within a social practice view of writing Essay-writing research Participants 11 undergraduates from schools of archaeology, history and philosophy 7 identified as dyslexic, 4 not Essay-writing research Part 1 Interest in how students experience essay writing, how they identify as writers 3 interviews per student: before; when ready to write an essay; afterwards Essay-writing research Part 2 Analysis of pre-writing plans (where done), evolving essays and final version submitted Use of model of coherence to analyse global paragraph and sentence structure Essay-writing research Coding framework Coding framework informed by ‘academic literacies’ (Ivanic and Lillis) and Burden’s thinking on ‘self-efficacy’ Allows constellations of individual difference to be articulated in an organised way (See hand-out 1) Essay-writing research Findings Dyslexic difficulties mitigated or exacerbated by the writing culture. Tacit agendas a problem for all Importance of meta-affective and meta-linguistic as well as metacognitive (‘solution-finders’, ‘able to create comfort zone’ ‘awareness of own language’) Need for more nuanced understanding of how students structure essays Made visible dyslexia-related issues Essay-writing research Compare with the national discourse: Writing as a skill Lack of skill can be remedied over time. Problems within the individual Emphasis on specialism Implications for : a)content b)concept of support Content: How do the findings, as shown in hand-out 2, affect the content and priorities of writing support? Concept: How can we meet expectations about ‘specialist dyslexia support’ and still meet our students’ actual writing needs (hand-out 3)?