From combat to composition : meeting the needs of military veterans through postsecondary writing pedagogy
Singleton Dalton, Kelly.
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. My project considers how postsecondary writing instructors may best meet the educational needs of students in the writing classroom who are also military veterans. Composition theory is generally responsive to differences between students--the "basic writer" of a freshman composition class and the adult student of the continuing studies classroom, for example--but little has been written specifically about the special pedagogical challenges of teaching military veterans. I seek to define those challenges based on an understanding of the military as a culture--a discourse community--that uses and values written language in ways that are frequently at odds with academic convention.; Although student-veterans, by virtue of their deployment and possible combat experiences, may face some singular challenges as new postsecondary students, they will share some of the same concerns and challenges of other nontraditional students. Thus, my project relies largely on the work of composition theorists who have considered issues of how adult learners best become acclimated to a new, academic culture. Of particular importance to my thesis is Patricia Bizzell's notion of a "discourse community;" David Bartholomae's argument that novice academic writers must "[invent] the university" by taking on the role of expert before they are truly qualified; and Ann Beaufort's consideration of rhetorical flexibility--that is, writing across contexts--and the development of a meta-awareness of the goals of writing tasks.; I also rely on the work of Shoshanna Felman and Dori Laub in the field of trauma studies, as well as James Pennebaker's work on the development of writing-as-therapy in order to explore questions about why writing may be, in particular, a crucial resource for military veterans who are not only students, but also emotional beings.
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