Cultural Historical Activity Theory and Student Writing
Is Version Of
Writing, often in conjunction with other media, is profoundly important to higher education, as it is to other modern institutions students will enter. Student writing mediates much of the activity of learning, and the most crucial parts, typically, such as assessment. Yet in higher education, writing often is devalued or even dismissed as a set of easily generalizable, elementary skills of transcribing speech or thought that students should have learned earlier in secondary or elementary school. This remedial model, and the tradition of complaint and cascading blame that goes with it, results not only in remedial courses but also, often, in the exclusion of student writing from the realm of serious inquiry and discussion in higher education.
This chapter is published as Russell, David R. “Cultural Historical Activity Theory and Student Writing.” In Pedagogy in Higher Education: A Cultural Historical Approach. Ed. Gordon Wells & Anne Edwards. Cambridge University Press. (2013). 73-88. Posted with permission.