Writing as a Learning Activity
Perry D. Klein, University of Western Ontario, Pietro Boscolo, University of Padova, Lori C. Kirkpatrick, Brock University and Carmen Gelati, University of Padova
Writing as a learning activity offers an account of the potentials of writing as a tool for learning. Four aspects of writing emerge particularly clearly through the chapters. First, writing to learn depends on the cognitive strategies of the writer; instruction in such strategies contributes significantly to the ability to use writing as a learning tool. Secondly, strategies for writing and reasoning are largely specific to academic disciplines. Thirdly, writing is not, as traditionally conceived, only an individual ability, but also an activity that is social. It is a collaborative practice facilitated by representational tools-- books, computer, notes, schemata, drawings, etc. – by which knowledge is acquired, organized, and transformed at various levels of complexity. Fourthly, writing is a productive activity, exemplified by the varied and positive effects of writing on learning different subjects at various educational levels.