Teaching of Writing and Diversity: Access, Identity, and Achievement

Authored by: John Albertinti

Handbook of Research on Writing

Print publication date:  July  2007
Online publication date:  March  2009

Print ISBN: 9780805848694
eBook ISBN: 9781410616470
Adobe ISBN: 9781135251116

10.4324/9781410616470.ch24

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Abstract

Diversity becomes an issue in the teaching of writing when students from an underrepresented group must learn to write in a classroom designed by able-bodied, English-speaking, Euro-centric educators. Such a classroom may be less accessible to economically disadvantaged students, students of color, students whose home language is not English, female students, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender-questioning students, and students with disabilities. In this brief review of research in the teaching of writing to such students, we focus on three background variables: ethnicity (including class and race), gender, and disability. Under disability, we consider students with hearing, vision, and learning disabilities. Though distinctions among variables are necessary for purposes of discussion, they are of course arbitrary when applied to real individuals. As the research shows, students bring multiple identities to school (Kubota, 2003), and so a female deaf student from a Spanish-speaking home who uses American Sign Language (ASL) and considers herself culturally deaf will likely challenge traditional approaches to teaching writing in mainstream classrooms.

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