From first-year composition through advanced professional and technical communication, writing curricula are constructed under a foundational premise that writing can be taught - and that writing knowledge can be “transferred” across critical transitions. First-year composition is often a required course for all students with the assumption that what is learned there will transfer to other coursework and throughout students’ educational careers. Senior capstone courses often integrate writing instruction that is intended to transfer to post-graduation writing in new workplaces or graduate or professional programs. Arguably, all of modern education is based on the broader assumption that what one learns here can transfer over there – across critical transitions. But what do we really know about transfer, in general, and writing transfer, in particular? Is “transfer,” and all of the assumptions that tag along with it, the best term to use to understand, enhance, and found writing education?
The Elon Research Seminar will support multi-institutional research addressing and surrounding this theme over a two year period, with two one-week summer meetings on the Elon University campus, as well as a third culminating meeting of a yet determined form.
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