Author: Boschman, Leanne Margaret
This qualitative study examines the use of the learning journal in educational settings characterized by many forms of diversity: in particular, language, culture, and literacy practices. Journals are often discussed in scholarly literature and assigned in classrooms without examining issues of identity and power or exploring the historical, cultural, and gendered parameters of journaling practices. This study considers socio-cultural aspects of academic literacy practices related to journaling. It seeks to identify ways in which to expand journaling to access identity toolkits with a range of cultural, linguistic, and literacy resources. This study considers how the journal can be a praxis of testimony that supports integration of personal narratives and the finding and inventing of language(s) to speak about suffering and the re-integration of selves. This exploration is framed by interrelated strands of new literacies theorizing, as well as by feminist autobiographical concepts of public and private domains. While tracing my own connections to journaling as a student, educator, and writer, I draw on the power of personal anecdote and poetry to assemble a hybrid text that probes both subject and the process of writing about it. Participants include learners and instructors in a post-secondary setting. Findings indicate that the learning journal can support diverse identity frameworks when flexibility and negotiation are applied; however, the risks of autobiographical writing in an institutional setting can be ameliorated through trust and relationship building.
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Thesis advisor: Cassidy, Wanda
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