Hidden expectations: scaffolding subject specialists’ genre knowledge of the assignments they set
Journal article, 2019

Subject specialists’ knowledge of academic and disciplinary literacy is often tacit. We tackle the issue of how to elicit subject specialists’ tacit knowledge in order to develop their pedagogical practices and enable them to communicate this knowledge to students. Drawing on theories of genre and metacognition, a professional development activity was designed and delivered. Our aims were to (1) build participants’ genre knowledge and (2) scaffold metacognitive awareness of how genre knowledge can enhance their pedagogical practices. The findings reveal that participants built a genre-based understanding of academic literacy and that the tasks provided them with an accessible framework to articulate and reflect upon their knowledge of disciplinary literacy. Participants gained metacognitive awareness of misalignments between what they teach and what they expect from students, their assumptions about students’ prior learning and genre- based strategies to adapt their practice to students’ needs. Our approach provides a theoretically grounded professional development tool for the HE sector.

academic literacy

metacognition

professional development

genre

disciplinary literacy

Author

Lisa McGrath

Sheffield Hallam University

Raffaella Negretti

Chalmers, Communication and Learning in Science, Language and Communication (Chalmers)

Karen Nicholls

Sheffield Hallam University

Higher Education

0018-1560 (ISSN) 1573-174X (eISSN)

Vol. 78 5 835-853

Subject Categories

Educational Sciences

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Specific Languages

Pedagogy

Learning and teaching

Pedagogical work

DOI

10.1007/s10734-019-00373-9

More information

Latest update

11/1/2019