Skip to main content

Research and Teaching

I am considering two possible full-time posts at the university where I teach part-time. I love where I teach and shifting to full-time would enable me to better support the local performing arts. The university supports my artistic endeavors, and that's refreshing. Accepting a post does not require scholarship if I wish to maintain "teaching track" status in the future, but an administrator told it would be "icing on the cake" and has led to teaching-track faculty being awarded research support and rank promotion (associate, full, etc.).

A few colleagues have suggested I compose a research agenda statement and pursue publishing on my dissertation topic.

My doctoral research topic was autistic students and online education, though I also conducted two grant-supported surveys on the general experiences of autistics in college writing courses. To revise and publish the research would be a serious undertaking, but I believe one that would serve the community and the literature in composition and rhetoric.

The surveys and observations found that autistics run counter to many of the pedagogical assumptions within comp/rhet. From the challenges of collaboration to the need to be non-verbal at times, autistic traits make many composition experiences dreadful for the students I interviewed. A predisposition towards concrete, literal thought and "black and white" values also poses a problem, which some in comp/rhet associated with "immature" thinking despite the neurological underpinnings of autistic approaches to problems. Some (many) autistic students find comp/rhet the impenetrable barrier to academic success.

I have met so many autistic (former) students who gave up after bad experiences, I feel I should push the observation research out there, even if I am unable to secure traditional publication. That wouldn't help with my career, but maybe that's not the point.

Some of my colleagues in comp/rhet have suggested there's not much space for research on why common classroom practices might be oppressive. I had one writing-literature instructor tell me that departments didn't need autistics. That pretty much explains why I prefer being outside English and writing programs.

Finding a publisher, either a journal or book publisher, means getting past editors, reviewers, et al, who might have the biases I have experienced. That's a rather unpleasant thought.

Of course, I could just leave "autism" behind and focus on something else for a research statement and agenda.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Autistic Burnout

Summer demands a lot of social energy, especially for parents. For autistics, the never-ending social calendar of summer can cause serious autistic burnout. Host C. S. Wyatt discusses his need to find a balance between social demands and self-care. Check out this episode!

Autism, Asperger's, and IQ

"Aren't people with Asperger's more likely to be geniuses? Isn't genius related to autism?" A university student asked this in a course I am teaching. The class discussion was covering neurological differences, free will, and the nature versus nurture debate. The textbook for the course includes sidebars on the brain and behavior throughout chapters on ethics and morality. This student was asking a question reflecting media portrayals of autism spectrum disorders, social skills difficulties, and genius. I did not address this question from a personal perspective in class, but I have when speaking to groups of parents, educators, and caregivers. Some of the reasons these questions arise, as mentioned above, are media portrayals and news coverage of autism. Examples include: Television shows with gifted characters either identified with or assumed to have autistic traits: Alphas, Big Bang Theory, Bones, Rizzoli and Isles, Touch, and others. Some would include

Free eBook on Autism and Relationships

This blog post is a bit unusual. I am testing to see if visitors can download a free eBook from this blog. I have linked to the file, which sits on our Web server. We have successfully tested the ePub edition of A Spectrum of Relationships . Only the abridged ePub edition is available for free at this time, not an Amazon Kindle edition, due to Amazon's policy requesting only full, commercial editions from small publishers. Until the text is revised and edited, I'm not comfortable publishing it formally. The commercial version will be released for the Amazon Kindle as well as other devices. In fact, it might be released first for the Kindle, if things go as planned. Downloading an ePub can be a challenge: some browsers try to open the file directly. To download the ePub, you might have to "right-click" and download the linked file. If you have the ePub extension installed, the FireFox browser will open the ePub correctly. A Spectrum of Relationships (ePub file) [