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Article
Genre, media, and communicating to learn in the disciplines: Vygotsky developmental theory and North American genre theory
Revista Signos
  • David R. Russell, Iowa State University
  • Patricia Harms, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Document Type
Article
Publication Version
Published Version
Publication Date
1-1-2010
DOI
10.4067/S0718-09342010000300013
Abstract

What is the relationship between medium and genre in learning and development? North American genre theory suggests following Miller (1984, 1994) that genre is social action. Genres evoke expectations, direct attention, guide action and suggest ‘what motives we may have.’ Yet the relationship between media and genres, as Miller suggested at SIGET IV (1997), is complex. The blog, for example, quickly evolved from being one genre to many genres and, today, might be said to be a medium more than a genre. Bazerman at SIGET IV (2007) argued, following Vygotsky (1997), that genres −particularly written genres− ‘provide highly differentiated, scaffolded communicative spaces in which we learn the cognitive practices of specialized domains.’ This paper provides some evidence for Bazerman’s theory from a case study of students in engineering. It shows how genres may scaffold development by directing attention and focusing motivation to ensembles of genres in a range of media, and repay greater study.

Comments

This article is published as Russell, David and Harms, Patricia Genre, media, and communicating to learn in the disciplines: Vygotsky developmental theory and North American genre theory . Revista Signos, 2010, 43(S1);227-248. DOI: 10.4067/S0718-09342010000300013. Posted with permission.

Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Copyright Owner
The Author(s)
Language
en
File Format
application/pdf
Citation Information
David R. Russell and Patricia Harms. "Genre, media, and communicating to learn in the disciplines: Vygotsky developmental theory and North American genre theory" Revista Signos Vol. 43 Iss. s1 (2010) p. 227 - 248
Available at: http://0-works.bepress.com.library.simmons.edu/david-russell/29/