- Title: Writing Centres in Higher Education: Working In and Across the Disciplines
- Author: Sherran Clarence and Laura Dison (Editors)
- Publisher: African Sun Media
- Country of Origin: South Africa
- Publication Year: 2017
- ISBN: 9781928357544
- Bib. Info: Paperback; 222pp
Writing Centres in South Africa, and globally, are now well established academic support centres within many universities. Historically tasked with supporting students as they grapple with the demands of academic writing, many centres are now moving beyond their own walls to work with academic tutors, lecturers and departments to rethink the ways in which knowledge is transformed into different kinds of disciplinary writing. This move raises pertinent questions for writing centre directors, tutors/consultants, and for the universities that house them: how does a centre, tasked with supporting more general academic literacy development through writing pedagogies, initiate students into a range of particularised discourse communities?
How do writing centre staff and disciplinary lecturers negotiate their shared, and separate, concerns for student learning through collaborative writing development projects? How do writing centres work with assignments and forms of literacy that challenge them to reconfigure their own pedagogical practices and expand their conceptions of writing support?
How do writing centres maintain their core focus as they move flexibly beyond their own spaces to understand the nature of disciplinary writing? This collection of essays reflects on the ways in which writing centres in South Africa are working in and across disciplines. Institutional constraints and challenges that arise from these collaborations are addressed and opportunities for transforming teaching and learning spaces are explored. The chapters speak to the global move in higher education to reconsider how knowledge is made, who makes it, and how support and development opportunities for students and lecturers should be created and sustained across the disciplines. This volume contributes to the body of knowledge in the growing field of the scholarship of teaching and learning in higher education in South Africa. It builds on the work of the first collection of such essays: Changing Spaces: Writing Centres and Access to Higher Education (Eds. A Archer and R Richards, 2011, SUN Press) to understand why working within the disciplines is so critical for writing development in a South African context.