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Title: Reconfiguring academic knowledge : transforming learning through regenring the student essay
Author: English, Fiona Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 2678 7964
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis, which is located in the current socio-political context of British university study, investigates how genres act on the production and communication of academic knowledge. It explores the work of a group of first year undergraduates from a range of disciplines including social anthropology, economics, religious studies, linguistics and politics. The data consists of pairs of written assignments; a conventional essay and a version of that essay reproduced with a different genre. Emerging from the analysis a new theorisation of genre which views it as a semiotic resource used in the process of communicating meaning is proposed, drawing on the work of Kress (e.g. 2003) and Kress and Van Leeuwen (e.g. 2001). In contrast to other genre discussion?, which consider what genres look like, as in structuralist approaches or the purposes they serve, as in functional approaches, this study is concerned with the affordances of genresi that is what genres allow in the production of texts. It identifies four orientations of genres; contextual orientation and . discursive orientation which are associated with social aspects of production; thematic orientation and semiotic orientation which are associated with material aspects of production. Through this theoretical lens, the study demonstrates how different genres orient texts and their producers towards different ways of understanding and expressing meaning. The findings present a challenge to the convention of the essay as the dominant genre in university education and suggest that through working also with other genres students can experience and develop their learning in a variety of ways
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available