Academic Literacy: Translating a Snapshot

By Greg Stratton.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper discusses the process and results of a study which set out to
better understand the relationships between the local meanings assigned to
the concept of ‘academic literacy’ by a team of university lecturers, and the
implications of these meanings for both teaching and learning, and for
developing a sustainable university preparation course for Indigenous
Australians. During the research process it became important to develop the
means to see significant patterns in the participants’ information without
predetermining the thematic and semantic categories of analysis. The
research led to the work of Deleuze and Guattari, which provided a means to
frame the collective and individual nature of lecturers’ meaning-making as
rhizomic or networked. This led further to the work of Bruno Latour and Actor
Network Theory, otherwise known as the sociology of translation. The
combination of these two ideas, the rhizome and ANT, provided the basis of a
conceptual framework that enabled the interrogation of the participants’
responses as narrative and networked data. By investigating ‘academic
literacy’ as a networked actor-entity, it became possible to see something of
lecturers’ processes of world building and the rhizomic nature of the
knowledges and processes that shaped ‘academic literacy’, and were in turn,
shaped by it.

Keywords: Academic Literacy, Actor Network Theory, Narrative Analysis, Indigenous Higher Education, Organisational Learning

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 10, pp.111-118. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 519.911KB).

Greg Stratton

Lecturer, Kurongkurl Katitjin, School of Indigenous Australian Studies, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

I have worked in adult education for the past 20 years, including 13 years in the university sector, but also in prisons and non-government organisations. My Master's dissertation is in the field of language and literacy education. I am presently doing a PhD in non-fiction filmmaking.

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