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If I could understand this deep structure then I might better define and trace the kinds of transforma- tions students needed to make if they were to improve help on essay their role as a learner during the semester.
What helped in my understanding of the deep structure was the chart on the next page (Figure 1) I drew for myself which graphically depicted the tie between the roles and activities Freire (59, 71 ) assigns to teachers and students in the banking model and the expectations of low-track teachers and students in the Oakes data (469-468), expectations my students spoke of in describing their own experiences in low-track classes.
Clearly, my pedagogy initially was de- manding a role and behaviors from the students that conflicted with their past educational experience. Neither banking nor low-track education place strong cognitive demands on students. Since students are only to process knowledge rather than transform it, it follows that in such an environment they would, as my students confirmed in a discussion, learn to listen rather than question, to respond to recall and recogni- tion tests rather than to essay exams or paper assign- ments, to read for information rather than analysis, and to accept the teacher as the authority for determining meaning. For the students to handle both the problem- solving pedagogy and collaborative planning, they needed to transform themselves from passive to active learners. These factors included the following: prior attitudes and knowledge about writing, changes in reading strategies and atti- tudesdurng the semester, attitudesaboutand changes in classroom discussion behaviors, pedagogy used in prior classes and in current college classes, attitudes about and changes in collaborative planning behav- iors, perceptions of differences between home and school environments in terms of the freedom to (or receptiveness towards) discuss or debate ideas, the image the students held of themselves as thinkers, and time demands from jobs, credit loads and families. Because of time constraints from the demands of teaching two additional writing courses and chairing the English department, I chose to use questionnaires rather than interviews to assess these factors. Questions were structured to find out what formulas or rules students had for writing. Reflections on Reading, Writing, and Thinking (given in early April) An open ended questionnaire distributed after the discussion on tracking and banking education, I asked students to reflect through a variety of prompts on the classroom pedagogy, on their reading behaviors, on the writing assignments, on collaborative planning, on thinking and on any differences between the kind of critical thinking and reflection they were asked to do help on essay in class and what was valued at home. Reflections on Attitudes and Learning Behaviors (given in the last week of help on essay class in May) Morcstructured than the Aprilquestionnaire, the students were asked to reflect on their behaviors as readers, writers, collaborative planners, thinkers and class participants both in the beginning and the end of the class and to identify and discuss any changes in behaviors that they had made. In addition to the questions, I had students tape two collabo- rative planning sessions and, after they used the tapes for their papers, I transcribed them to see if there was any relationship between the behaviors in the collaborative planning sessions and the background information I had from the questionnaires.
Since collaborative planning for each of these students is embedded in the framework of their concepts about learning and them- selves as learners, the three drawings on Figure 2 (next page), configured like nesting blocks, represent the relationship of collaborative planning to the learning environment constructed and operated by the students from their histories, beliefs, and the transformations they were making in their leaming postures. The relative size of the blocks represents the degree of influence of certain concepts tied either to banking education or to problem-solving pedagogies which re- move the teacher as the sole authority. In the following discussions, the data from the questionnaires paint a CoLLABORAnVE PLANNING: CONCEPTS, PROCESSES, AND ASSIGNMENTS 111 RIGIDITY CHANGE Figure 2. Dale: Rigidity and Rules in a Banking Environment For Dale, collaborative planning was embedded in a framework of banking behaviors erected from his high schoolcoursesandhlspriorcollegedevelopmental English class. A 1989 graduate, he attributed most of his knowl- edge about writing and reading to his prior developmen- tal Englishand reading classes. Although hecould define terms like thesis statement and topic sentence, his papers showed that he did not in practice know how to generate these structures. As the collaborative planning excerpt will show, this is the formula he imposed on writing assign- ments. Outlining was what he had been taught to do to plan, but he never, in practice, came to a collaborative planning session with an outline. He indicated that the kinds of papers he had written prior to 100 included narratives, comparison-contrast "where you discuss one thing and then another," and cause-effect. Revising, he defined as "to correct mistakes-" Rules he recalled from prior courses included not using "you or third party" or "dividing one paragraph into many" (although in re- sponse to another question about paragraphing, he indi- cated that he did not know where to divide for para- graphs.