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IAmA LRA Show Guest: Young Adults & their Writing Practices

This post is updated to include a recording of the event...

Tuesday (8/19) at 8PM EST was the second live event in the month-long focus on young adults and their writing practices from #literacies chat and the Literacy Research Association‘s Research to Practice webinar series. I was honored to join Jen Scott Curwood, Ryan Rish, Jeremy Hyler, and moderator Paula DiDomenico and discussant Mellinee Lesley in the live LRA Learning Research to Practice show.

In addition to discussing the kind of research we do regarding writing and young adults, we discussed the current context for teaching young adult writers, and how we typify the young adults’ writing practices. We tackled the reoccurring question: What does it mean to teach young adults how to write? And finally, we discussed what we hope to see in research and practice in regards to young adults and their writing practices.

When asked what I would want to discuss, I explained that I have been thinking quite a bit lately about how beneficial the writing process movement was to our understanding of writing and learning. I think we can see a focus on writing practices in the same way. My work focuses on encouraging an additional focus on youths’ learning pathways as they engage in writing practices across their lives and the many boundaries we make across them in our approaches to educational research and conversations about practices (i.e. their writing both unimodal and multimodal, on and offline, and in and out of school). I’d love to see a pathways movement in education. I have discussed possibilities and pathways previously at the Digital Media and Learning yearly conference and in a webinar with the National Writing Project.

Two weeks ago we enjoyed the first live event of this month-long focus via the Twitter-based #literacies chat. As always, it was a stimulating conversation that will lead perfectly into the LRA Show. Of particular highlight were three intertwined topics that came bubbling up: 1) the nature of writing practices; 2) the false dilemma imposed on writing practices as either school or nonschool based; 3) the constraining power established institutions wield in demarcating the boundaries “literacies.” To give a sample of this involved conversation, take a look at this single threaded series of tweets on Twitter that stemmed from the single tweet below:


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