Stories from First-Year Composition: Pedagogies that Foster Student Agency and Writing Identity

  • Queer, First-Year Composition, Pedagogy, Writing

Edited by Jo-Anne Kerr and Ann N. Amicucci
Copy edited by Meg Vezzu. Designed by Mike Palmquist.

CoverThe central value of first-year composition is often questioned, typically accompanied by characterizations of FYC as a “service” course. This collection counters those perceptions, sharing with readers a new FYC story, one that demonstrates a new “service” that the course provides to first-year students, a service that accommodates the realities of writing—that it is never just writing and that the writing process entails much more than plugging in the “right” words (that mean the same to everyone) in predetermined forms. The collection offers insights into effective FYC pedagogies and opportunities for readers to consider and think about their own teaching and their identities as FYC instructors. It offers prompts for reflection, suggestions for further reading, and multimedia components that can deepen and enrich our understandings of teaching FYC and instill a sense of agency for teaching FYC effectively and advocating for its value and relevance.

Table of Contents

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Front Matter


Foreword, James Paul Gee
DOI: 10.37514/PRA-B.2020.0308.1.2

Introduction, Jo-Anne Kerr and Ann N. Amicucci
DOI: 10.37514/PRA-B.2020.0308.1.3

Part 1. Problematizing Today’s Notions of First-Year Composition

Chapter 1. Double Standards and Sunshine: Exploring Expectations for Professional and Student Writing in FYC, Doug Downs
DOI: 10.37514/PRA-B.2020.0308.2.01

Chapter 2. Teacher as Ally: Supporting LGBTQ Student Writers in the First-Year Composition Classroom, Howa Furrow
DOI: 10.37514/PRA-B.2020.0308.2.02

Chapter 3. Three Student Voices on Technology in First-Year Composition, Ann N. Amicucci
DOI: 10.37514/PRA-B.2020.0308.2.03

Part 2. Fostering Students’ Development of Writing Identities

Chapter 4. Becoming a Person Who Writes, Helen Collins Sitler
DOI: 10.37514/PRA-B.2020.0308.2.04

Chapter 5. Encouraging Potential in Liminal Space: Student Writer Reflection, Martha Wilson Schaffer
DOI: 10.37514/PRA-B.2020.0308.2.05

Chapter 6. Teaching for Transfer in the First-Year Composition Course: Fostering the Development of Dispositions, Jo-Anne Kerr
DOI: 10.37514/PRA-B.2020.0308.2.06

Chapter 7. Linguistic Socialization: More Than “regular talk,” “paraphrase and stuff,” Brian D. Carpenter
DOI: 10.37514/PRA-B.2020.0308.2.07

Part 3. Promoting Student Agency in FYC

Chapter 8. Design Into: Reflection as a Tool for Growth, Angela Clark-Oates, Michelle Stuckey, Melissa Williamson, and Duane Roen
DOI: 10.37514/PRA-B.2020.0308.2.08

Chapter 9. A Framework for Transfer: Students’ Development of a “Theory of Writing,” Kara Taczak, Liane Robertson, and Kathleen Blake Yancey
DOI: 10.37514/PRA-B.2020.0308.2.09

Chapter 10. A Transition, Ashley M. Ritter
DOI: 10.37514/PRA-B.2020.0308.2.10

Afterword. What’s Next? Advocating for the Value of FYC, Jo-Anne Kerr and Ann N. Amicucc
DOI: 10.37514/PRA-B.2020.0308.3.2i


Related Resources

Blog IconThe Stories from FYC Blog

Podcast IconA podcast conversation among Doug Downs, Ann Amicucci, and Jo-Anne Kerr discuss how to disrupt the status quo in FYC

Transcripts: PDF | Word | Rich Text Format

Video IconA short video in which Ann Amicucci discusses how to overcome the challenges inherent in promoting student agency in classroom technology use

Podcast IconA podcast conversation among Helen Collins Sitler, Jo-Anne Kerr, and editor Ann Amicucci about how to challenge students’ preconceived notions of what writing should be

Transcripts: PDF | Word | Rich Text Format

Video IconA brief video in which Helen Collins Sitler shares classroom practices for promoting students’ writing identities

Video IconA brief video in which Jo-Anne Kerr discusses how to validate students’ beliefs about writing while offering opportunities to revise these beliefs

Video IconA brief video in which Brian Carpenter describes classroom practices for facilitating students’ academic socialization in FYC

Podcast IconA podcast conversation among Kara Taczak, Kathleen Blake Yancey, Jo-Anne Kerr, and Ann Amicucci about how to implement a teaching-for-transfer curriculum in FYC

Transcripts: PDF | Word | Rich Text Format

About the Editors

Jo-Anne Kerr taught high school English for 25 years and is now Professor Emerita of English at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she taught English and English education methods courses and supervised student teachers. Jo-Anne was director of IUP’s English Education Program for 10 years and received the Outstanding English Education Adviser Award several years. She also served as co-director of the Southcentral Pennsylvania Writing Project from 2005-2010. She is co-editor and co-writer, with colleague Dr. Linda Norris, of Thinking Like a Teacher: Preparing New Teachers for Today’s Classrooms, published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2017. She also co-wrote, with Dr. Keith Dils, “Meeting NCATE Standard 4: One University’s Plan to Help Preservice Teachers Develop the Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Dispositions to Ensure that All Students Learn,” published in Educational Considerations in 2011. Her article, “Wondering Through Teaching, ” appeared in English Journal in 2007. Jo-Anne has presented at the National Council of Teachers of English annual convention and the Conference on English Education.

Ann N. Amicucci is Assistant Professor of English and Director of First-Year Rhetoric and Writing at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, where she teaches first-year rhetoric and research writing courses, a writing pedagogy course for future K-12 English teachers, and undergraduate rhetoric seminars on social media, letters, and public intellectualism. Her research focuses on college students’ digital literacies and reading practices, and her recent work has appeared in Computers & Composition and The CEA Forum. She was the recipient of the 2013 Computers & Composition Hugh Burns Dissertation Award.

Publication Information: Kerr, Jo-Anne, and Ann N. Amicucci. (Eds.). (2020). Stories from First-Year Composition: Pedagogies that Foster Student Agency and Writing Identity. The WAC Clearinghouse; University Press of Colorado.

Digital Publication Date: May 1, 2020
Print Publication Date: October 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64215-030-8 (PDF) | 978-1-64215-031-5 (ePub) | 978-1-60732-980-0 (pbk.)
DOI: 10.37514/PRA-B.2020.0308

Contact Information:
Jo-Anne Kerr:
Ann N. Amicucci:

Practices & Possibilities

Series Editors: Nick Carbone, Carbone Research and Writing; Mike Palmquist, Colorado State University; Aimee McClure, Clarke University; and Aleashia Walton, University of Cincinnati
Associate Editor: Karen-Elizabeth Moroski, Michigan State University

Acrobat Reader DownloadThis book is available in whole and in part in Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF). is also available in a low-cost print edition from our publishing partner, the University Press of Colorado.

Copyright © 2020 Jo-Anne Kerr, Ann N. Amicucci, and the authors of individual parts of this book. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 United States License. 202 pages, with notes, illustrations, and bibliographies. This book is available in print from University Press of Colorado as well as from any online or brick-and-mortar bookstore. Available in PDF and ePub formats for no charge on this page at the WAC Clearinghouse. You may view this book. You may print personal copies of this book. You may link to this page. You may not reproduce this book on another website.