Reading: Part I

I wanted to blog on what I’ve been reading, but I’ve been preoccupied with data analysis and writing. In NVivo, I’ve now organized some free nodes into tree nodes, refined my coding scheme, and begun synthesizing my paper-based journal scribbles into a more organized electronic copy. Nonetheless, I figured I better blog because the longer I go between entries, the harder it seems for me to get going again! So, here goes.

In early April 2006, I was re-reading Muukonen, Lakkala, & Hakkarainen (2005) to examine how they described and analyzed the progression of discourse. In particular, I was interested in how they coded for metacognitive discussion notes because I was working on the papers due in May: one on epistemological growth with Clare and Bruce, and the other one on affordances of weblogs and online discussion environments with Clare and Wendy. On each paper, I was focusing on the Knowledge Forum (KF) collaborative online discussion environment, whereas Bruce and Wendy were focusing on individual learning logs within and weblogs outside of KF. Learning logs and weblogs are also part of my data. For me, though, they provide a way to look at the online discussion data that I focus on.

Anyway, I became interested in the concept of academic literacy in reading and writing (Geisler, 1994) because Muukonen et al. situated academic literacy in the context of other literature that I was already familiar with on metacognition, self-regulated learning, reflective judgment, critical thinking, collaboration, and knowledge building. When I brought up academic literacy as something I found interesting at the April 20th research group meeting, Wendy referred me to Geisler’s book.

Since then, I’ve been slowly reading it on my commutes to and from campus. I’m finding it really helpful in thinking about my dissertation. I see progressive discourse now as broader than critical discourse that novice researchers learn to engage in by participating in the academic community. This invokes the concept of expertise and progressive problem solving in the knowledge building literature. However, it is also possible to see development of progressive discourse as the development of competency in metadiscourse–to understand it in reading articles, and to use it in one’s own writing. I think this is related to learners’ metacognition, and perhaps epistemology. I’m going to continue reading and thinking more about this.

Geisler, C. (1994). Academic literacy and the nature of expertise: reading, writing, and knowing in academic philosophy. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Muukkonen, H., Lakkala, M., & Hakkarainen, K. (2005). Technology-Mediation and tutoring: How do they shape progressive inquiry discourse? The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 14(4), 527-565.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *