Call for papers: Reading and WAC for Across the Disciplines

Across the Disciplines
Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Language, Learning and Academic Writing

Call for Proposals
A special issue of Across the Disciplines, Spring/Fall 2013

Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum

More info after the jump

Guest editor:
Alice Horning, Oakland University

When faculty members are asked what they consider the single greatest problem they face in their classrooms on a daily basis, they almost always include reading as a key issue. Faculty comments reflect what could be described as the “don’t, won’t, can’t” problem.  That is, students don’t read in the ways that faculty expect, and they won’t unless faculty find ways to force or coerce reading compliance. Underlying these two significant aspects of the problem is a third, much bigger problem, which is that many students are not able read in the ways faculty would like.  Qualitative and quantitative studies such as Jolliffe and Harl’s analysis of students’ reading journals at the University of Arkansas and ACT’s 2006 study, relating ACT reading performance to success in college among 563,000 students, support the idea that students lack the reading skills needed to do college work successfully.  This situation is becoming increasingly serious in the face of ever larger amounts of material available in print and online that faculty expect students to read, comprehend, and critically assess.  Understanding and addressing the “don’t, won’t, can’t” problem is everyone’s job, in every course, in every discipline.  In this special issue of Across the Disciplines, we invite proposals for articles that explore this issue across disciplines, along the following (and other possible) lines:

  • What is the best way to address the “don’t, won’t, can’t” problem?
  • How does reading differ from discipline to discipline?  Do theories of reading or evidence from the cognitive neuroscience research shed light on different disciplines’ texts and reading of them?
  • Can students learn to transfer their reading skills with social media to more substantive reading of longer texts?
  • How do different disciplines help students to analyze, synthesize, evaluate and apply information and ideas in their own work?
  • What research on reading should be included in faculty development to help faculty members understand the reading process in ways that can inform teaching in every discipline?
  • What other academic and pedagogical problems such as increasing retention or engagement could be addressed with work on reading?
  • How do reading problems tie into the problems identified by recent studies on critical reading, thinking and writing or college attainment (i.e. graduation)?
  • How might those who teach reading make use of disciplinary and/or professional guidelines such as the recently issued Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing, a joint project of the Council of Writing Program Administrators, the National Writing Project and NCTE?
  • Do the K-12 Common Core State Standards do enough to address the reading problem and support more and better instruction in reading to prepare students for college-level work?
  • What do we know about novice and expert readers and how could this distinction help faculty in every discipline address the “don’t, won’t, can’t” problem?
  • How can students learn to go beyond simple search strategies to understand and use sources they find in print and on line?  How can faculty improve student reading for the writing of research and inquiry projects?

These questions are meant to provide a general direction for articles.  Proposals for related topics and issues are most welcome.

Deadline for Proposals: June 1, 2012

Notification of Acceptance: July 2012

Manuscripts Due: December 15, 2012

Publication: Fall 2013

Proposal Format: Please submit a one-page proposal explaining your topic, the research and theoretical base on which you will draw, and your plans for the structure of your article, following the general guidelines for ATD at <> .  Send your proposal to Alice Horning, guest editor, at <> , and also to ATD editor Michael Pemberton at <> .  Provide full contact information with your submission.


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