Date of Award

5-1-2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

English

First Advisor

McClure, Lisa

Abstract

With the rise of the writing-to-learn (WTL) movement, studies on reflection and implementing reflective writing became key focal points in research on writing across the curriculum (WAC). Scholars from a wide range of disciplines have noted the benefits of implementing genres of writing that prompt students to look back and assess aspects of their own performance and understanding. Other inquiries examine if reflective writing impacts student performance, as well as analyze students' reflective processes and their perceptions of reflection. This investigation represents a continuation and expansion of these different research efforts on reflection across the curriculum. The goal of this work is to gain more knowledge about students' reflective processes and the language that they use to describe reflective thought and action by focusing on multiple, discipline-specific contexts. Through an exploratory study of four courses within two disciplines--English and History--at a large, public university, this work examines the reflective processes and perceptions of students and how their perceptions and processes align with their instructors' expectations. This study suggests that students and instructors in various disciplines have unique and sometimes divergent ways of using and talking about reflection, which presents implications for research on WAC and knowledge transfer. Aligning with the rich body of research in the field, this investigation uses reflection as both a subject of inquiry and a guiding action.

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