Subjectivity and intersubjectivity in the teaching and learning of writing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article employs the concept of intersubjectivity to analyze developments in and discrepancies between students' understandings of criteria for effective writing and the criteria of their teacher. It reports on a study that employed qualitative methods of interview and classroom observation in conjunction with analysis of students' writing and the teacher's feedback on their writing to explore the struggles of students learning the "genre of power" (Lemke, 1988, p. 89) of the literary analysis essay. The greatest challenges for the students in this study occurred for those whose goals and expectations related to this high-stakes genre of writing were not based on the same taken-for-granted assumptions about context and purpose as were their teacher's. The article concludes by discussing teachers' professional responsibility to negotiate shared goals for literacy with their students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-460
Number of pages48
JournalResearch in the Teaching of English
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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