Phd thesis on literacy

Contents:
  1. Theses and Dissertations (Unit for Academic Literacy)
  2. Student writing and academic literacy development in higher education : an institutional case study

In response to the disconcerting retention rates, higher education institutions have implemented academic support programmes to address the needs of students who enter university with poor school results. One such intervention at Stellenbosch University is the Extended Degree Programme in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, which makes provision for students to extend their first academic year over two years. Since EDP students have also been required to register for an academic literacy module and it is this group that comprises the focus of this study. Using a case study design, this qualitative, interpretive inquiry was characterized by multiple data collection methods.

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Theses and Dissertations (Unit for Academic Literacy)

In this way qualitative data that pointed to the perceptions of the students and some of the lecturers who taught the EDP classes were generated via semi-structured interviews, focus group interviews, observation and content analysis. In addition, descriptive quantitative data was collected and this further contributed to generating the rich, in-depth data that characterize case study research.

The analysis of the data was undertaken according to a three-tiered approach, in which the results of the empirical inquiry were first analysed per data source and then themes and trends across all the data sources were identified.


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Ultimately, these findings were interpreted according to an explanatory framework. The study highlights a number of important issues, key of which is that providing an academic literacy module for under-prepared students can facilitate the acquisition of academic literacy, particularly when such provision seeks to support the different discipline-based mainstream modules.

Another important finding of the study emphasizes the extent to which institutional factors, such as increased student numbers, have placed pressure on university infrastructure and human resources. The impact of this situation filters down to the first-year classroom and negatively influences student learning.

Student writing and academic literacy development in higher education : an institutional case study

Finally, the results of the study question prevailing notions about under-prepared students as all of the students in the study, irrespective of their backgrounds and levels of sophistication, attested to the significant challenges that entry into the academic community posed for them. The findings of this study, while specific to the context in which it was undertaken, contribute to the growing body of knowledge in the field of academic development within higher education and the role of academic literacy in student learning.


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PhD thesis, University of Sheffield. Internationally, there is a gender-related performance gap in literacy attainment, and in the Maltese islands, recently published international literacy test results caused rising concern about the academic achievement of boys. The theoretical foundations of this research were underpinned by several theoretical perspectives including posthumanist, emancipatory, socio-cultural, experiential education and childhood theories, attuned to my epistemological stance of pragmatism in mixed methods phenomenological research.


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Findings suggest that the three main concepts explored were inclined to biased and constricted worldviews that resulted in the majority of the young boys experiencing undesirable reading and writing practices. This study posits that policymakers, educators and all stakeholders involved in education should ensure that all children have access to quality early literacy learning through a more socially just education system: a solid foundation for all successful literate citizens. You do not need to contact us to get a copy of this thesis.

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