She categorized writing into two categories. Writing was categorized as a second order process as well as a productive function. She claims that it is a unique form of learning because it combines physical learning, iconic learning, and symbolic learning all in one action. Finally, it allows for analysis and synthesis of knowledge to occur. Writing then as a form of learning is powerful because it integrates and uses both sides of our brains as well as many different areas of cognitive abilities. It applies to those who learn through physical action, those who learn through repetition, and those who learn through symbolic means.

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I thought I had finally found proof of what my parents thought was a very poor way of studying when I was in high school. I used to read my Social Study, Biology, or Literature books, synthesize, analyze, create diagrams, and in the process I would managed to re-write 3 pages of material into a page product.

My dad thought I was nuts! Of course now I realize that my dad was right, and that had I not learned other ways of studying, I would not be in a graduate program never mind in this class… can you imagine re-writing all these readings!?!?!?!?

I am not whining. Emig thus points out the multiple reasons as to why writing is definitely a mode of learning. She uses a great deal of evidence from Vygotzky to Piaget, to Gardner, she utilizes rather well known theories not only into the physiological process of the brain when people write and learn but also in production of learning through writing. Furthermore, Emig offers a nice list of differences between writing and talking. I became particularly drawn by the idea that writing supports learning simply because of the fact that it reinforces its cycle through the use of the hand, the eyes, and the brain , which is a very complex and intertwine process.

It is so complex, that some of us may think too fast for our hands, and in fact, often have to go back and erase because we start to write a word that should go after some that we skipped. The necessity to establish a connection between all these processes requires of a series of skills that are guide writing as well; for instance the ability to coordinate, subordinate, superordinate, establish causal relations, and possibly narrate and describe Therefore, writing as a creation, also facilitates the genesis of relations that meet our human needs.

Thus writing may be inspired by the need of expression or the need of getting an A in a composition class. I wonder how man composition instructions and students think of writing that way.


Writing as a Mode of Learning



Writi ~ gas a mode of Learning


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