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Returning Adult Students and Writing

Adler-Kassner, Linda. “The Shape of the From: Working-Class Students and the Academic Essay.” Teaching Working Class. Ed. Sherry Lee Linkon. Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 1999: 85–105.

Aldrich, Pearl G. “Adult Writers: Some Factors That Interfere with Effective Writing.” Technical Writing Teacher 9.3 (1982): 128–32.

Aronson, Anne. “Reversals of Fortune: Downward Mobility and the Writing of Nontraditional Students.” Teaching Working Class. Ed. Sherry Lee Linkon. Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 1999: 39–55.

---. “Danger Zones: Risk and Resistance in the Writing Histories of Returning Adult Women.” Situated Stories: Valuing Diversity in Composition Research. Eds. Emily Decker and Kathleen Geissler. Portsmouth: Boynton/Cook, 1998.

Aronson, Anne L., Craig J. Hansen, and Brian Nerney. “Introduction to the Special Issue of the Writing Instructor: Undergraduate Adult Learners and the Teaching of Writing.” Writing Instructor 15 (1996): 51.

Ball, Arnetha, and Pamela Ellis. “Identity and the Writing of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students.” Handbook of Research on Writing: History, Society, School, Individual, Text. Ed. Charles Bazerman. NY: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2008. 499–513.

Bash, Lee, Kristin Lighty, and Deborah Tebrock. “Utilizing a ‘Transformation Course’ To Assist Returning Adult Learners.” 1999 Conference Proceedings. Saratoga Springs, NY. Oct 21–23, 1999: 209–214. Adult Higher Education Alliance. (18 June 2008).

Bay, Libby. “Twists, Turns, and Returns: Returning Adult Students.” Teaching English in the Two Year College 26 (1999): 305–312.

Beder, H.W., and G.G. Darkenwald. “Differences between Teaching Adults and Pre-Adults: Some Propositions and Findings.” Adult Education 33 (1982): 142–55.

Belanger, Kelly and Linda Strom. Second Shift: Teaching Writing to Working Adults. Portsmouth: Boynton/Cook Publishers, 1999.

Belzer, Alisa. “’It’s Not Like Normal School’: The Role of Prior Learning Contexts in Adult Learning.” Adult Education Quarterly 55.1 (2004): 41–59.

Berninger, Virginia W., Frances Fuller, and Dianne Whitaker. “A Process Model of Writing Development Across the Life Span.” Educational Psychology Review 8 (1996): 193–218.

Bernstein, Susan Naomi. Teaching Developmental Writing: Background Readings. Boston: Beford/St. Martin’s, 2006.

Blair, Kristine, and Cheryl Hoy. “Paying Attention to Adult Learners Online: The Pedagogy and Politics of Community.” Computers and Composition 23 (2006): 32–48.

Bryan, Leslie Hall. “Cooperative Writing Groups in Community College.” Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 40 (1996): 188.

Carroll, Michael. “Journal Writing as a Learning and Research Tool in the Adult Classroom.” TESOL Journal 4.1 (1994): 19–22.

Carver, Mike. “Student Voice: Life Experience?” Writing Instructor 15 (1996): 59.

Cassity, Kathleen. Bringing Lived Cultures and Experience to the WAC Classroom: A Qualitative Study of Selected Nontraditional Community College Students Writing Across the Curriculum. Diss. U of Hawai’i, UMI, 2005. 3171037. ProQuest. DePaul U Lib., Chicago, IL. 9 Dec. 2006.

Chambliss, Marilyn J., and Ruth Garner. “Do Adults Change Their Minds after Reading Persuasive Text?” Written Communication 13.3 (1996): 291.

Cheney, Kathleen R. “Community College English: Diverse Backgrounds, Diverse Needs.” The Relevance of English: Teaching That Matters to Students’ Lives. Eds. Robert P. Yagelski and Scott Leonard. Urbana: NCTE, 2002. 204–20.

Cheville, Julie, and Margaret Finders. “Defining Adolescent and Adult Writing Development: A Contest of Commercial and Federal Wills.” Handbook of Research on Writing: History, Society, School, Individual,Text. Ed. Charles Bazerman. NY: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2008.

Clark, Romy and Roz Ivanic. The Politics of Writing. London: Routledge, 1997.

Coles, Nicholas, and Susan V. Wall. “Conflict and Power in the Reader-Responses of Adult Basic Writers.” College English 49.3 (1987): 298–314.

Comfort, Junita Rodgers. “Surviving Intact: African American Women Negotiating Scholarly Identities through Graduate School Writing.” The Relevance of English: Teaching That Matters in Students’ Lives. Urbana: NCTE, 2002. 235–56.

Conners, Patricia. “Some Attitudes of Returning or Older Students of Composition.” College Composition and Communication 33 (1982): 263–266.

Cox, Elizabeth M., and Larry H. Ebbers. “Exploring the Persistence of Adult Women at a Midwest Community College.” Community College Journal of Research and Practice 34.4 (2010): 337–59.

Crews, Denise M., and Steven R. Aragon. “Developmental Education Writing: Persistence and Goal Attainment among Community College Students.” Community College Journal of Research and Practice 31 (2007): 637–52.

Cross, Patricia K. Adults as Learners. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1981.

Culley, Margaret. “The Authority of Experience: Adult Women in the College Classroom.” Equity and Excellence 24.3 (1988): 67–8.

Curry, Mary Jane. “Skills, Access, and Basic Writing: A Community College Case Study from the United States.” Studies in the Education of Adults 35.1 (2003): 5.

Dethier, Brock. “Becoming a Beginner Again.” Teaching English in the Two-Year College 29.3 (2002): 273–83.

Elkins, Hope, Tom Buckingham, and Lynn Cochran. “In Their Own Words: Assessment to Understand the Dynamics of College Retention.” Mid-Western Educational Research Association. (2003): 1–19. ERIC. ED 482 142. 10 December 2006 Link.

Ferretti, E. “Between Dirty Dishes and Polished Discourse: How Working Class Moms Construct Student Identities.” Teaching Working Class. Ed. Sherry Lee Linton. Amherst MA: University of Massachusetts, 1999. 69–83.

Fitch, Deborah A. “Teaching Grammar to Adults and Second Language Learning Research.” Education 116.1 (1995): 32.

Fox, Patricia Shelley. “Women in Mind.” The Relevance of English: Teaching That Matters in Students’ Lives. Eds. Robert P. Yagelski and Scott Leonard. Urbana: NCTE, 2002. 183–203.

Fredericksen, Elaine. “Silence and the Nontraditional Writer.” Teaching English in the Two Year College 25 (1998): 115–122. ProQuest. DePaul U Lib., Chicago, IL. 4 Dec. 2006.

Gere, Anne Ruggles. “Kitchen Tables and Rented Rooms: The Extracurriculum of Composition.” College Composition and Communication 45.1 (1994): 75–92.

Gillam, Alice M. “Returning Students’ Ways of Writing: Implications for First-Year College Composition.” Journal of Teaching Writing 10.1 (1991): 1–20.

Gillespie, Marilyn. “Research in Writing: Implications for Adult Literacy Education.” The Annual Review of Adult Learning and Literacy 2.3 (2001). National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy. 25 Sept. 2005

Gleason, Barbara. “Connected Literacies of Adult Writers: Workplace Ethnographies in College Composition.” In Multiple Literacies for the 21st Century. Charles Bazerman, Brian Huot, Beth Stroble, Editors. Hampton Press, 2004.

---. “Returning Adults to the Mainstream: Toward a Curriculum for Diverse Student Writers.” Mainstreaming Basic Writers: Politics and Pedagogies of Access, Geraldine McNenny and Sallyanne Fitzgerald, Editors; Lawrence Erlbaum, 2001. Reprinted in Teaching Developmental Writing: Background Readings, 2nd edition/2004 and 3rd edition/2007 by Susan Naomi Bernstein. Bedford St. Martin’s Press.

---. “Something of Great Constancy: Storytelling, Story Writing, and Academic Literacy,” Attending to the Margins: Writing, Researching, and Teaching on The Front Lines, Valerie Balester and Michelle Hall Kells, editors, Heinemann, 1999.

---. “Urban Literacies and The Ethnographic Process: Composing Community at the Center for Worker Education.” In CityComp: Identities, Spaces,Practices, Cynthia Ryan and Bruce McComiskey, Editors, SUNY Press, 2003.

Goulston, Wendy. “Women Writing.” Teaching of Writing: Pedagogy, Gender and Equity. Ed. Cynthia L. Caywood and Gillian R. Overling. Albany: SUNY Press, 1987. 19–29.

Greenwood, C.M. “’It’s Scary at First’: Reentry Women in College Composition Classes.” Teaching English in the Two Year College 17 (1990): 133–142.

Gregg, Noel, Susan A. Sigalas, and Cheri Hoy. “Sense of Audience and the Adult Writer: A Study across Competence Levels.” Reading and Writing 8 (1996): 121.

Halio, Marcia Peoples. “Teaching in Our Pajamas: Negotiating with Adult Learners in Online Distance Writing Courses.” College Teaching 52.2 (2004): 58.

Hall Kells, Michelle and Valerie Balster, Eds. Attending to the Margins, Researching and Teaching on the Front Lines. Portsmouth: Boynton/Cook, 1999.

Hansman, Catherine A. and Arthur L. Wilson. “Teaching Writing in Community Colleges: A Situated View of How Adults Learn to Write in Computer-Based Writing Classrooms.” Community College Review 26.1 (1998): 21–42. WilsonWeb. 17 March 2006.

Hashimoto, Irvin Y. “Adult Learning and Composition Instruction.” Journal of Basic Writing 4.1 (1985): 55–67.

Himley, Margaret, et al. “Answering the World: Adult Literacy and Co-Authoring.” Written Communication 13.2 (1996): 163.

Hoadley-Maidment, Elizabeth. “From Personal Experience to Reflective Practitioner: Academic Literacies and Professional Education.” Student Writing in Higher Education: New Contexts. Eds. Mary R. Lea and Barry Stierer. Philadelphia: The Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press, 2000. 165–78.

Horning, Alice S. “The Climate of Fear in the Teaching of Writing.” Teaching of Writing: Pedagogy, Gender and Equity. Albany: SUNY Press, 1987. 65–79.

Hout, Brian, Beth Stroble, and Charles Bazerman, eds. Multiple Literacies for the 21st Century. Cresskill: Hampton Press, Inc.: 2004.

Howard, Ursula. “History of Writing in the Community.” Handbook of Research on Writing: History, Society, School, Individual, Text. Ed. Charles Bazerman. NY: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2008. 237–54.

Jackman, Mary Kay. “When the Personal Becomes Professional: Stories from Reentry Adult Women Learners about Family, Work, and School.” Composition Studies. 27.2 (1999): 53–67.

Kalister, Rose Ann. “The Adult Learner in the Writing Center: Teaching Techniques.” Annual Meeting of the Writing Centers Association Clarion, PA, 1981.

Kamler, Barbara. “Is Personal Writing Empowering? Developing Critical Writing Practices in Adult Education.” Open Letter 6.1 (1995): 5–16.

Karpiak, Irene. “Writing Our Life: Adult Learning and Teaching through Autobiography.” Canadian Journal of University Continuing Education 26.1 (2000): 31–50.

Kerka, Sandra. “Journal Writing and Adult Learning.” ERIC Digest No. 174 (1996): 1–7. ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult Career and Vocational Education Columbus OH. ED399413. 17 Mar. 2007 Link.

---. “Journal Writing as an Adult Learning Tool.” Practice Application Brief No. 22 (2002) ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult Career and Vocational Education Columbus OH. ED470782. 17 Mar. 2007 Link.

Kiskis, Michael. “Adult Learners, Autobiography, and Educational Planning: Reflections on Pedagogy, Andragogy, and Power.” Pedagogy in the Age of Politics: Writing and Reading (in) the Academy. Eds. Patricia A. Sullivan and Donna J. Qualley. Urbana: NCTE, 1994. 56–72.

Kliemann, Susan. “The Reciprocal Relationship of Workplace Culture and Review.” Writing in the Workplace: New Research Perspectives. Ed. Rachel Spilka. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1993. 56–70.

Lea, Mary R. “Academic Literacies and Learning in Higher Education: Constructing Knowledge through Texts and Experience.” Studies in the Education of Adults 30.2 (1998).

Leaker, Cathy, and Heather Ostman. “Composing Knowledge: Writing, Rhetoric, and Reflection in Prior Learning Assessment.” College Composition and Communication 61.4 (2010): 691–717.

Lillis, Theresa M. Student Writing: Access, Regulation, Desire. London: Routledge, 2001.

Lytle, S.L “Living Literacy: Rethinking Development in Adulthood.” Literacy: A Critical Sourcebook. Eds. E. Cushman, E.R. Kintgen, B. M. Kroll, M. Rose. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2001. 376–401.

Mahala, Daniel, and Jody Swilky. “Telling Stories, Speaking Personally: Reconsidering the Place of Lived Experience in Composition.” JAC 16.3 (1996): 363–388.

Marino, Carrie A. “The Student Returns: Challenges of the Returning Student.” Conf. on Coll. Composition and Communication. Phoenix, Az. March 12–15, 1997. ERIC Full Text ED4096567. 17 Mar. 2007 Link.

Mauk, Jonathon. “Location, Location, Location: The “Real” (E)States of Being, Writing, and Thinking in Composition.” College English 65.4 (2003): 368–88.

Meyers, Miriam. “Characteristics of Adult Students’ Writing.” Annual Meeting of the Minnesota Council of Teachers of English. Minneapolis, MN, May 6–7, 1983. ERIC Abstract ED233392. 17 Mar. 2007 Link.

Miritello, Mary. “Teaching Writing to Adults: Examining Assumptions and Revising Expectations for Adult Learners in the Writing Class.” Composition Chronicle: Newsletter for Writing Teachers 9.2 (1996) 6–9.

Morrison, Mary Kay. “‘the Old Lady in the Student Lounge’: Integrating the Adult Female Student into the College Classroom.” Two-Year College English: Essays for a New Century. Ed. Mark Reynolds. Urbana: NCTE, 1994. 26–36.

Mullins, Barbara and Betsy Park. “Faculty Expectations and the Adult Learner: Some Implications for Reference.” The Reference Librarian 69/70 (2000): 381–93.

Navarre Cleary, Michelle. “Keep It Real: A Maxim for Service-Learning in Community Colleges.” Reflections: A Journal of Writing, Service-Learning, and Community Literacy 3.1 (Winter 2003): 55–63.

---. “What WPAs Need to Know to Prepare New Teachers to Work with Adult Students.” Writing Program Administration: Journal of the Council for Writing Program Administrators 32.1 (Fall/Winter 2008).

Navarre Cleary, Michelle, Suzanne Sanders-Betzold, Polly Hoover, Peggy St. John. “Working with Wikis in Writing-Intensive Classes.” Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy. 14.1 (Fall 2009) <>.

Needham, Mary L. “This New Breed of College Students.” Two-Year College English: Essays for a New Century. Ed. Mark Reynolds. Urbana: NCTE, 1994. 16–25.

Oaks, Susan. “Talking to One’s Self: Reproducing Collaborative Writing Strategies in a Composition Course for Adult, Independent, Distance Learners.” Conference on College Composition and Communication. Washington, DC, March 23–25, 1995. ERIC Full Text ED385850. 17 Mar. 2006 Link.

Odell, Lee, and Dixie Goswami. “Writing in a Nonacademic Setting.” New Directions in Composition Research. Eds. Richard Beach and Lillian S. Bridwell. New York: The Guilford Press, 1984. 233–57.

Padak, Nancy and Gary Padak. “Writing Instruction for Adults: Present Practices and Future Directions.” Lifelong Learning: An Omnibus of Practice and Research 12.3 (1988): 4–7.

Perl, Sondra. “Teaching and Practice.” Harvard Educational Review 64.4 (1994): 427–460.

Pies, Timothy. “Reducing Anxiety in the Adult Writer.” Adult Learning 5.3 (1994): 14–15, 18.

Popken, Randall. “A Study of the Genre Repertoires of Adult Writers.” Writing Instructor 15 (1996): 85–93. WilsonWeb. 17 March 2006.

Ryan, Marney. “Student Voice: On Returning to School.” Writing Instructor 15 (1996): 83.

Shankar, Archana Daya. “Interpreting the Narratives of Non-traditional Students: An Exploratory Study.” Speech Communication Convention. New Orleans, LA, Nov. 1994. ERIC Full Text ED380827. 17 Mar. 2006 Link.

Silva, Tony, Ilona Leki, and Joan Carson. “Broadening the Perspective of Mainstream Compostion Studies: Some Thoughts from the Disciplinary Margins.” Written Communication 14.3 (1997): 398.

Silver, Marilyn B. “Teaching Writing to Adult Learners: Using Job-Related Materials.” Improving College and University Teaching 30.1 (1982): 33–37.

Smith, Beatrice Quarshie. “Genre, Medium and Learning to Write: Negotiating Identities, Enacting School-Based Literacies in Adulthood.” Journal of College Reading and Learning 34.7 (2004): 75–96. WilsonWeb. 17 March 2006.

Sommer, Robert F. Teaching Writing to Adults. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1989.

Sonnenmoser, Richard. “The Gatekeeping Impulse and Professor X: An Exploration.” Assessing Writing 14 (2009): 76–87.

Starks, Donna and Marilyn Lewis. “Academic Writing Concerns: Staff and Adult Learner Perspectives.” New Zealand Journal of Adult Learning 29.1 (2001) 63–71.

Starks, Gretchen. “Perceptions of Writing by Exceptional Cases of Adult Returning Women in a Rural Community College: Differences between Persisters and Leavers.” Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. San Francisco, CA, March 27–31, 1989. ERIC Abstract ED306989. 17 Mar. 2007 Link.

Sternglass, Marilyn S. Time to Know Them: A Longitudinal Study of Writing and Learning at the College Level. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1997.

Strom, Linda, and Kelly Belanger. “Teaching On “Turns”: Taking Composition Courses to a Union Hall.” Writing Instructor [H.W. Wilson - EDUC] 15 (1996): 71.

Thelin, William. “Understanding the Problems in Critical Classrooms.” CCC 57.1 (2005): 114–141.

Thompson, Diane P. “Introducing Adult Students to Writing about Literature.” TETYC 16.1 (1989): 37–39.

Thompson, Merle O’Rourke. “The Returning Student: Writing Anxiety and General Anxiety.” TETYC 10.1 (1983): 35–39.

Tinberg, Howard, and Jean-Paul Nadeau. “The Calderwood Study of First-Semester Community College Writers: What Their Writing Told Us About Themselves, Their Faculty, and Their College.” Conference on College Composition and Communication. San Francisco, 2009.

Uehling, Karen. “Older and Younger Adults Writing Together: A Rich Learning Community.” The Writing Instructor 15.2 (1996): 61–69.

Walden, Phyllis. “Journal Writing: A Tool for Women Developing as Knowers.” New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education 65 (1995): 13.

Wiant, Fredel Marie. “A Study of Collaborative Writing Response Groups and Writing Anxiety among Female Community College Re-Entry Students.” Master’s Thesis. U of Colorado, 1997.

Wylie, Robert W. “Letters from Retirement.” Teaching English in the Two - Year College 27.1 (1999): 91.

Selected Bibliography on Returning Adults

American Council of Higher Education (ACE). Framing New Terrain: Older Adults and Higher Education. Washington, DC: 2007. (28 May 2008).Beder, H.W., and G.G. Darkenwald. “Differences Between Teaching Adults and Pre-Adults: Some Propositions and Findings.” Adult Education 33 (1982): 142–155.

Belzer, Alisa. “It’s Not Like Normal School’: The Role of Prior Learning Contexts in Adult Learning.’” Adult Education Quarterly 55 (2004): 41–59.

Berker, Ali and Laura Horn. “Work First, Study Second: Adult Undergraduates Who Combine Employment and Postsecondary Enrollment.” National Center for Education Statistics. United States. Department of Education. Washington, DC: 2003. (3 July 2008).

Brookfield, S. D. The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the Classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2006.

---. Understanding and Facilitating Adult Learning: A Comprehensive Analysis of Principles and Effective Practices. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1986.

Brumagim, Alan L. “Using the Experiences of Nontraditional Students in the Classroom.” Journal of Management Education 23 (1999): 444–452.

Castaldi, Theresa M. “Adult Learning: Transferring Skills from the Workplace to the Classroom.” Lifelong Learning: An Omnibus of Practice and Research 12.6 (1989): 17–19.

Castles, Jane. “Persistence and the Adult Learner: Factors Affecting Persistence in Open University Students.” Active Learning in Higher Education July 2004, 5.2, 166–179.

Chao, Ruth and Glenn E. Good. “Nontraditional Students’ Perspectives on College Education: A Qualitative Study.” Journal of College Counseling 7.1 (2004): 5–12.

Chartrand, Judy M. “A Causal Analysis to Predict the Personal and Academic Adjustment of Nontraditional Students.” Journal of Counseling Psychology. Jan. 1990: 65–73.

Cross, Patricia K. Adults as Learners. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1981.

Dill, Patricia and Tracy B. Henley. “Stressors of College: A Comparison of Traditional and Nontraditional Students.” The Journal of Psychology 132.1 (1998): 25–32.

Dzindolet, Mary T. and Lawrence Weinstein. “Attitudes of Traditional and Nontraditional Students Toward Their Classmates of Various Ages.” Psychological Reports. Dec. 1994: 1587–1592.

Edwards, Richard, Ann Hansom, and Peter Raggatt. Eds. Boundaries of Adult Learning: Theory and Practical Strategies. Philadelphia: Research for Better Schools, 1991.

Giczkowski, William. “General Education Applications for Adult Learners: Making Sense of Experience.” Adult Learning. Summer 1998: 30–32.

Jacobs, Jerry A. and Scott Stoner-Eby. “Adults Enrollment and Educational Attainment.” Annals of the American Academic of Political and Social Science. Sept. 1998: 91–108.

Knowles, Malcolm. The Adult Learner: The definitive classic in adult education and human resource development. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2005.

Kolb, David A. Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall PTR, 1984.

Lawler, Patricia. The Keys to Adult Learning: Theory and Practical Strategies. Philadelphia: Research for Better Schools, 1991.

Melichar, Barbara. “Instructors’ Attitudes Toward Nontraditional Students Positive, Study Shows.” Adult Learning Sept/Oct 1994: 27–28.

Merriam, Sharan B. and Rosemary S. Caffarella. Learning in Adulthood: A Comprehensive Guide. Third Edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2007.

Quinnan, Timothy William. Adult Students “At-Risk”: Culture Bias in Higher Education. Westport: Bergin & Garvey, 1997.

Reed, Susan C. and Catherine Marienau. Eds. Linking Adults with Community: Promoting Civic Engagement through Community Based Learning. Spec. issue of New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education 118 (2008).

Richardson, John T.E. and Estelle King. “Adult Students in Higher Education: Burden or Boon?” Journal of Higher Education Jan-Feb 1998:65--.

Rose, Amy. “Moving into the Mainstream: Is There Such a Thing as a Nontraditional Student Anymore?” Adult Learning Sept/Oct 1994: 6, 29.

Shields, Nancy. “The Link Between Student Identity, Attributions, and Self-Esteem Among Adult, Returning Students.” Sociological Perspectives Summer 1995: 261--.

Shmaefsky, Brian R. “Adult Students – 12 Contrasts You Should Consider.” Teaching for Success April 2002: 4.

Smith, Dorace F. A Study of Characteristics that Contribute to Persistence of Adult Commuter Students Who Earn 60 or More Hours of College Credit. Diss. Ball State U, 1999. Ann Arbor, UMI, 1999. 9924372. ProQuest. DePaul U Lib., Chicago, IL. 9 Dec. 2006.

Spitzer, Tam A. “Predictors of College Success: A Comparison of Traditional and Nontraditional Age Students.” NASPA Journal 38:1 (2000) 82–98.

Taylor, Kathleen, Catherine Marienau, and Morris Fiddler. Developing Adult Learners: Strategies for Teachers and Trainers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2000.

Selected Bibliography of Useful Sources on Reflective Practice, Portfolio Development, and Prior Learning Assessment from Sonia Feder-Lewis, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota,

Barrett, H. C. (2007). Researching electronic portfolios and learner engagement: The REFLECT initiative. Journal of Adult and Adolescent Literacy, 50(6), 436–449.

A description of a Canadian electronic portfolio project, written by one of the pioneers and experts in the field.

Brady, E. M. (1990). Redeemed from time: Learning through autobiography. Adult Education Quarterly,41(1), 43–52.

Brown, J. O. (2002). Know thyself: The impact of portfolio development on adult learning. Adult Education Quarterly, 52(3), 228–245.

A very interesting study into the impact of creating a portfolios and of reflection on the learning experience, and on the way students perceive their experience. Posits that the act of reflection deepens and reinforces the learning.

Conrad, D. (2008). Building knowledge through portfolio learning in prior learning assessment and recognition. The Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 92(2), 139–150.

A great overview of the PLA process and theory behind it.

Geerling, F. &Dirkx, J.M. (2003). Adults learning to reflect: A study of the assessment of private learning. Paper presented at 2003 Midwest Research to Practice Conference in Adult, Continuing, and Community Education.

A study of a religiously affiliated college that had a required course for incoming adult students to explore more affective learning though a required reflective life writing course to empower students and assess their ability to learn and write about how life—not professional—experience has contributed to their knowledge.

Mezierow,J. & Associates. (1990). Fostering critical reflection in adulthood: A guide to transformative and emancipator learning. San Francisco: Jossey Bass Publishers.

A core text on reflection, in many settings. The core idea that meaningful learning includes reflection. Provides a framework for describing ways of thinking and ways of categorizing the process of reflection.

Michelson, E. (1997). Multicultural approaches to portfolio development. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, (75), 41–53.

Michelson examines the way in which the traditional portfolio system may be inadequate for non-traditional, non-Western learners, and examines the development of Prior Learning Assessments for an aboriginal college in New Zealand, and a First Nations school in Canada. She suggests that alternative ways of knowing create a need for alternative models for exploring learning.

Taylor, M. (2006). Informal adult learning and everyday literacy practices. Journal of Adult and Adolescent Literacy, 49(6), 500–509.

Thomas, A., Collins, M., & Plett, L. (2001). Dimensions of the experience of Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition. New Approaches to Lifelong Learning OISE/UT.

A study in a series of studies in Canada on the experience of PLAR and its effect on students.

Van Kleef, J. (2007). Strengthening PLAR: Integrating theory and practice in post-secondary education. Journal of Applied Research and Learning, 1(2), Article 5, 1–22.

A theoretical approach to PLA and its implementation.

Wilcox, B.L. (1997). Writing Portfolios: Active vs. Passive. English Journal, 86(6), 34–37.

Short but useful, focusing on the way in which reflection can be incorporated into the process of building a portfolio, and in the ways in which this engagement with one’s work can enhance the learning through the portfolio process.

Yancey, K. B. (2004). Postmodernism, palimpsest, and portfolios: Theoretical issues in the representation of student work. College Composition and Communication, 55(4), 738–761.

Explores how digital portfolios are changing the nature of portfolios and our thinking about the process of reading a portfolio.

Yancey, K.B. & Weiser, I., Eds. (1997). Situating portfolios: Four perspectives. Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press.

A thoughtful collection of essays on portfolios, covering areas of Theory and Power, Pedagogy, Teaching and Professional Development, and Technology. Authors include Peter Elbow, Cynthia Selfe, and Kathleen Blake Yancey.

Zubizarreta, J. (2004a). The learning portfolio: Reflective practice for improving student learning. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing.

Both a theoretical discussion of portfolio development and the need for reflective practice, and a handbook of examples for successfully implementing learning portfolios, this is a very readable and thoughtful guide. Zubizarreta provides a strong grounding in why we should use portfolios with students, and then lets us see the many ways to use them effectively.

Zubizarreta, J. (2004b). The learning portfolio: Reflective practice for improving student learning. Available online at

This is just a brief PowerPoint presentation, based in large part on the book listed above. Included are useful questions for students, tips for teachers, and a very helpful bibliography. Dr. Helen Barrett—all things e-portfolios. Dr. Barrett provides a great number of resources on e-portfolios, and about prior learning.

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