Transfer From A Student’s Perspective: A Qualitative Study of Teaching For Transfer In First-Year Writing



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Building from Teaching for Transfer studies conducted by Kathleen Yancey et al., the IRB-approved study I conducted at the University of Houston investigated specific aspects of a Teaching for Transfer curriculum when applied to two First-Year Writing courses. I recruited 37 students from both of my classes in the Spring of 2022 to take part in this qualitative study that considered student perception in regard to the curriculum from multiple data streams. Using surveys, interviews, journals, and essays, I approached this area of research from a detailed, single-semester perspective that looked at critical points of learning, sequencing, changes over time, and, most of all, the students’ own voices and responses in regard to it all to paint a detailed picture of the phenomena that occurred within the classrooms. I used a teacher-research and qualitative methodology to position myself as the researcher within my own classrooms and in how I handled the data itself. The body of data was coded for how a detailed look within a single semester of using a TFT curriculum within a FYW course connects to the previous Yancey et al. studies (2009-10; 2014-15; 2016-17) that considered a more longitudinal aspect of a TFT curriculum, and what were new or critical points within the curriculum itself, timeline, or sequencing of these classes. My results point to the Yancey et al. curriculum being effective as a FYW curriculum and toward helping students to transfer their writing skills and knowledge outside of the writing classroom. I also found key points in the timeline of the curriculum that may help us understand what happened from a student learning perspective over the semester, which might build toward a greater understanding of developing and deploying TFT curricula (or possibly FYW curricula in general). The nature of how students understood and used reflective practices developed over the course of the semester, becoming a powerful tool for them when combined with analysis and metacognition. The data here also gives deep insight into how students felt and perceived their learning from beginning to the end of the semester, helping teachers and curriculum developers to consider both sides of the equation of student and teacher in regard to the classroom, student learning, and curriculum goals.



Composition, Teaching For Transfer, TFT, Writing Transfer, Knowledge Transfer, Writing Studies, Writing Curriculum, Curriculum Design, Curriculum Development, Qualitative Study