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Writing and Reading across Disciplines: What WRAD Means


Many educators who have treated the issue of reading in the context of higher education agree that college students must learn to read in ways that are different from how they have read (even in school, arguably) and even how they will read as educated citizens and professionals in their chosen fields (beyond any academic environment).

What is involved? What do various professional students in the field (aka “experts”) think and say?


Who reads?

What one professor (Timothy Burke, a professor of history)  at Swarthmore suggests:

He has some things to say about writing—suggestions to make to students—as well:

There are many questions:
What makes good reading practice?  What counts as “interactive” reading?  What do we want our students to be able to take from their reading?  What do we want them to do with what they read?  Are the answers to these questions the same for different disciplines?  

Do students of physics tackle their texts in the same ways that students of European history do?  If not, what are the differences?  Can students in GE classes learn about these, and can this learning enhance their developing proficiency in their chosen majors?  [This could represent a major contribution of GE].  How easily are these putative differences elucidated?

What about digital technology and reading?  Will textbooks be online? On Kindles?  And what about the digital divide—what happens when that is factored in?

Writing Resources and Programs on Campus

  • Early Assessent Program
  • Additional Resources

    In this section, sites treating topics of interest relevant to WRAD issues will rotate


    Faculty Workshops

    Core Commitments Grant Opportunity

    The Core Commitments Project connects CSU Northridge to a community of faculty, advisers, and students across the country under the aegis of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) who seek to “revitalize the academy’s role in fostering students’ development of personal and social responsibility.”

    Core Commitments' first year engaged in connecting its own goals to those of first year writing classes. This year, WRAD, seeking to collaborate with this program, is offereing an initiative that should widen that base.

    What connects the WRAD and the Core Commitments Project is that critical reading, guided discussion, and reasoned writing provide natural pathways for communicating and assessing students’ progress across courses, majors, and time, toward reaching the goals that various programs under the Core Commitments tent have set for them.

    WRAD, therefore, in collaboration with the CSUN Core Commitments Team is offering ten (10) fellowships of $1,000 each to faculty who seek to make connections in their courses with the goals of Core Commitments through student writing projects. The focus is to provide ways of measuring our students’ understanding of a selected set of principles that are part of this initiative’s strategic goals, even as we are encouraging them to use the exercise(s) of reading, writing, and talking about them as vehicles for both learning and expression.

    Spring 2009 Pilot Project

    More on Facets: A work in Progress

    alphabet blocks spelling out the word power




    Disciplines, Discourses, and Divides