Jeffrey Alan Jablonski

Reconceiving interdisciplinary collaboration: Locating the intellectual work of writing across the curriculum consultants

Jeffrey Alan Jablonski

  • School: Purdue University
  • Degree: Ph.D.
  • Date: 2000; pp: 245
  • Advisor: Weiser, Irwin H.
  • Source: DAI-A 62/11, p. 3765, May 2002
  • Subjects: Language, Rhetoric And Composition (0681); Education, Higher (0745)
  • ProQuest Document Number:
  • ISBN: 0-493-46058-6
  • UMI Number: AAT 3033104

Abstract:

    This study theorizes the interdisciplinary, collaborative consulting activities of writing specialists within postsecondary academic institutions. Since the early 1970s, writing across the curriculum (WAC) specialists have worked in college-wide writing and faculty development programs to improve the written communication skills of students and the teaching of those skills by faculty. While there exists discourse on WAC program administration and on writing-in-the-disciplines, there remains a lack of systematic discourse on how WAC specialists negotiate successful faculty development relationships. This project addresses this gap by codifying four participants’ reflections-on-practice. It is an exploratory-descriptive multiple-case study based on qualitative interviewing procedures and close reading of documentary evidence. The study represents WAC specialists’ experientially-based knowledge as a way to deepen understandings of how writing specialists collaborate with other faculty. It describes writing consulting in terms of existing scholarship, various theoretical tenses, and frameworks for assessing academic work. Chapter 1 contextualizes the project within historical and theoretical frameworks, outlining three modes of collaboration based on self-consciousness of method. Chapter 2 describes and justifies the methodology of the study, grounded in a reflective approach to practice. Chapter 3 presents descriptive profiles of the participants, articulating these specialists’ practical approaches to facilitating faculty development. Chapter 4 further articulates the knowledge base of WAC specialists by addressing questions about what they know and do relevant to academic writing consulting. It develops a typology of writing consulting models: the workshop model, the service model, the classroom inquiry model, and the discipline-based research model. By emphasizing the practice of writing consulting, the typology highlights differences in aims of consulting, roles of the consultant, consulting methods, and stances toward faculty. Chapter 5 addresses how the specialists described and documented their collaborative activities for the purposes of evaluating the scholarly merit of such work. By representing these strategies and framing them in relation to broader discourses on reforming academic scholarship, the chapter suggests ways other WAC specialists can argue the merit of their work within their particular institutional contexts. Chapter 6 concludes by reviewing how the previous chapters contribute to further articulating the professional, expert dimensions of academic writing consulting.