Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Reflection In The Writing Classroom

Reflection In The Writing Classroom

Kathleen Blake Yancey
Copyright Date: 1998
Pages: 224
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Reflection In The Writing Classroom
    Book Description:

    Yancey explores reflection as a promising body of practice and inquiry in the writing classroom. Yancey develops a line of research based on concepts of philosopher Donald Schon and others involving the role of deliberative reflection in classroom contexts. Developing the concepts of reflection-in-action, constructive reflection, and reflection-in-presentation, she offers a structure for discussing how reflection operates as students compose individual pieces of writing, as they progress through successive writings, and as they deliberately review a compiled body of their work-a portfolio, for example. Throughout the book, she explores how reflection can enhance student learning along with teacher response to and evaluation of student writing. Reflection in the Writing Classroom will be a valuable addition to the personal library of faculty currently teaching in or administering a writing program; it is also a natural for graduate students who teach writing courses, for the TA training program, or for the English Education program.

    eISBN: 978-0-87421-314-0
    Subjects: Language & Literature, Education

Table of Contents

    (pp. vi-viii)
    Kathleen Blake Yancey
  2. CHAPTER ONE On Reflection
    (pp. 1-22)

    We’re three weeks into the fall term. It’s still hot and sunny here in Charlotte, and today is Friday: the day when the first formal assignment, a narrative, is due in this course in first-year college composition. We’ve been writing (continuously, it seems) since the day the class started, but those texts were all preparatory. Somehow, they didn’t count. Although the narrative due today won’t be graded, it will count. The students understand that. The beneficiaries of twelve years’ worth of schooling, they know what’s going on, graded paper or not: I’m going to see how they write.

    Before the...

  3. CHAPTER TWO Reflection-in-Action
    (pp. 23-48)

    It’s friday; i’ve picked up a set of arguments from my first year comp class. How do I read them? Relative to an ideal text in my head: how/do their texts compare with what I think is the model text for this assignment? Relative to each other: how does one student perform compared to the person he or she worked with? Relative to what we did in class: how well did those activities prepare them? Relative to what a writer is capable of: how would I know this? Relative to what went into the making of the text? What is...

  4. CHAPTER THREE Constructive Reflection
    (pp. 49-68)

    In “between the drafts,” nancy sommers tells the story of how she became a writer, through a kind of unconscious imitation of others’ voices, through resistance, through encouragement, ultimately through force of will: between and among and beside and even in spite of the drafts. In thinking about what this means for our students, she says, “When we create opportunities for something to happen between the drafts, when we create writing exercises that allow students to work with sources of their own that can complicate and enrich their primary sources, they will find new ways to write scholarly essays that...

  5. CHAPTER FOUR Reflection-in-Presentation
    (pp. 69-96)

    Ironically, the reflection that is best known—what i’ve called reflection-in-presentation—is the least well understood and the least well theorized. It’s (also) the reflection that we are most familiar with, regardless of the form it takes: the introductory “Letter to the Reader” that fronts the writing portfolios used for exemption at Miami University (Black et al.); the annotations upon single pieces that accompany selections in the Missouri Western portfolio-in-the-major (Allen, Frick et al.); the final reflective essay that summarizes and interprets the exhibits appearing in the New Standards portfolios used in the K-12 context (Myers and Pearson); and the...

  6. CHAPTER FIVE Reflective Reading, Reflective Responding
    (pp. 97-124)

    Somewhat surprisingly, given the teaching, reading, and writing that English faculty do for a living, we don’t talk very much about a philosophy of reading student work, or a philosophy of responding to student work, or even a philosophy of evaluating student work.¹ Too infrequently do we make a Schonean reflective transfer from our own reading practices of non-student texts—be they texts in the mainstream media, in professional journals, or in a volume of poetry—to our reading of student work. Too infrequently do we apply what we understand, about multiple kinds of responses to and dialogues about our...

  7. CHAPTER SIX Reflection and the Writing Course
    (pp. 125-144)

    How have i taught? how do i understand my own teaching? when I say that a writing class—a first-year writing class at my comprehensive urban university—went well, that the students learned, that I think they’re becoming good writers (some of them, at least), what do I mean? And how would I know that such assertions were true? Could I theorize more generally about such a course—about the components needed to foster the development of such students? What makes me think that I have anything new to add to what we already know? Or: what might I add...

  8. CHAPTER SEVEN Reflection and Assessment
    (pp. 145-168)

    Reflection-in-presentation is, of course, a key component of portfolios, as it can be of cumulative reflective essays, and increasingly it is being included as the second text in holistically scored impromptu essays.¹ In other words, reflection-in-presentation is becoming a more regularized component of assessment practice. When linked to programs, to high-stakes situations, to situations clearly in the public domain where scrutiny and accountability are the coin of the realm, reflection-in-presentation tends to raise issues that we normally associate with a formal writing assessment: one characterized by formal operations and technical rigor. These issues—how we should evaluate a student’s work,...

  9. CHAPTER EIGHT Literacy and the Curriculum
    (pp. 169-184)

    How do we use reflection to help us understand the curriculum that we think we offer to students? And what is that curriculum? The curriculum in English studies, we seem to agree, focuses on literacy: reading and writing and thinking, presenting all those in multiple kinds of text.

    Literacy provides a lens through which we can consider how reflection and curriculum work together.

    One year out of Virginia Tech, certified as a Language Arts and Social Studies teacher for grades 6-12 and 15 credits into an MA in English, I am working in a south central Pennsylvania factory that manufactures...

  10. CHAPTER NINE Reflective Texts, Reflective Writers
    (pp. 185-206)

    My friend charles schuster asked me once, when i began to talk about reflection, “Are we looking for the reflection in the writing,” he asked, “or reflection apart from the writing?”

    Bothand,” I replied.

    Bothand is the correct answer, I still think, but here I’ll take the opportunity to elaborate more fully. Such elaboration teaches something else we need to know about reflection. After that, I’ll over/view the larger argument about reflection, issue some cautions, and articulate some questions.

    The conclusion of this text, of course, provides its own points of departure.

    What does a reflective text look like? What...