Russell: "The Kind-ness of Genre..."

Russell, David R. "The Kind-ness of Genre: An Activity Theory Analysis of High School Teachers' Perception of Genre in Portfolio Assessment Across the Curriculum." The Rhetoric and Ideology of Genre, edited by Richard Coe, Lorelei Lingard, and Tatiana Teslenko, Hampton Press, 2002, pp. 225-242.

Russell looks at how high school teachers of different subjects assess student writing portfolios (225). Russell examines their evaluation process through the lens of genre activity systems, finding that genre knowledge may have breadth or depth; and the dimension of each teacher's genre knowledge affected how they understood the success of student writing, in terms of its "real world" applicability (227). The fact that instructors from across school disciplines would assess students' writing portfolio meant that some instructors were not a typical audience for certain genres of work presented in the portfolio, e.g., a technology teacher evaluating expressive writing (230). The idea of breadth of genre/knowledge is at odds with the fact that each teacher has a specialization (237). As the teachers began reading and understanding more about genres outside their area of specialization, they began to have an "expanding sense of genre"  which led to new ways of thinking about "being in the world" (239-240).

GenreKatie Ancheta