Reading together

Perusall logoWe’ll use Perusall to annotate and read together.

Instructions for joining on the Assignments page.




Time photoOur course invites you to work with data collection and analysis, readings, and discussion around the field of literacy studies

Resources for Class tonight (11/13)

Resources for Class tonight (11/13)

Shared google doc for brainstorming

Description and analysis

Data from a homework assignment:

While this may seem ridiculous, I would like to explore this inquiry through an exploration of technology screens. For example, a computer monitor or television can only depict the colors red, green, and blue in each pixel; however, we are clearly able to see each color on the monitor. This is created through proximity of pixels (like a painting by Seurat!) The rainbow may in fact be like a giant pointillism canvas filled with an infinite number of dots.

–THIS! THIS IS A QUESTION! Your group started looking at iPhone screens today, right? I’d love to see you do more with this. Like: why red/green/blue? How does a TV screen show a rainbow if it’s only using red/green/blue?

Analysis of instructor feedback:

There are many ways to respond to Cassandra’s writing. The assignment did not ask for such speculation, and instead called for students to make and defend a claim regarding color. The phrasing “while this may seem ridiculous…” and the exclamation point in her parenthetical comment are not typical of scientific texts, and an instructor could identify for the student that this kind of language is not appropriate for science assignments. The redundancy in the first sentence (“explore…through an exploration”) is also not the focus of Leslie’s comment. The idea Cassandra offers—that a rainbow may be a “pointillism canvas” that gives the illusion of colors not actually present—is, in fact, the opposite of what a rainbow is doing (separating white light into its constituent wavelengths); the instructor could address this and discourage the student from pursuing this line of reasoning. Alternatively, the instructor could suggest recommended readings that address the students’ misconception or provide a template for writing that would have avoided such idiosyncratic writing and ideas. All of these possible responses, Brannon and Knoblauch argue, “[tend] to show students that the teacher’s agenda is more important than their own, that what they wanted to say is less relevant than the teacher’s impression of what they should have said” (158). Instead of “fixing” Cassandra’s ideas and writing, the instructor shows enthusiasm for this student’s ideas, attending to the nascent attempts to model color. The comment shows that the idea is indeed not ridiculous at all. The instructor recognizes that the idea is one that the students have already (since submitting the assignment) begun to pursue and she can imagine the variety of questions that their pursuit raises.

example ethnography


James Gee

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