Article published in:Genre and Disciplinarity
Edited by Tim Moore, Janne Morton and Steve Price
[Australian Review of Applied Linguistics 41:2] 2018
► pp. 130–156
The embedding challenge
Developing students’ understandings of ‘theory’ and ‘critique’ on a Sociology writing program
There is a consensus nowadays that the best way to develop students’ academic literacy abilities is within the context of their studies in the disciplines, an approach known as ‘curriculum embedding’. But despite the demonstrable value of this approach, surveys of the field in Australia suggest there has been only limited success over the years in integrating embedding pedagogies into university courses. In the light of this halting progress, there is a need to constantly document initiatives in this area, both to affirm the principles upon which embedding is founded, as well as to show how these principles can be given practical effect on programs. This paper provides an account of one such initiative – a collaborative project between Sociology academics and an academic literacy specialist. The key motif on the project was how the notions of ‘theory’ and ‘critique’ could be made comprehensible to students in the particular disciplinary context they were working in. We also show that an essential element of such programs is developing a common language by which pertinent issues can be explored, both among academics and with students.
Keywords: disciplinary discourses, academic literacy, embedding, assessment, Vygotsky, threshold concepts, Sociology education, interdisciplinarity
Published online: 10 January 2019
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