Charles Bazerman

Charles Bazerman is Chair and Professor in the Department of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

  • The Languages of Edison's Light

    The Languages of Edison's Light

    Charles Bazerman

    Technology is business, and dealing with the media, the public, financiers, and government agencies can be as important to an invention's success as effective product development. To understand how rhetoric works in technology, one cannot do better than to start with the American inventor Thomas Alva Edison and the incandescent light bulb. Charles Bazerman tells the story of the emergence of electric light as one of symbols and communication. He examines how Edison and his colleagues represented light and power to themselves and to others as the technology was transformed from an idea to a daily fact of life. He looks at the rhetoric used to create meaning and value for the emergent technology in the laboratory, in patent offices and courts, in financial markets, and in boardrooms, city halls, newspapers, and the consumer marketplace. Along the way he describes the social and communicative arrangements that shaped and transformed the world in which Edison acted. He portrays Edison, both the individual and the corporation, as a self-conscious social actor whose rhetorical groundwork was crucial to the technology's material realization and success.

    • Hardcover $16.75
    • Paperback $40.00

Contributor

  • Language Development and Learning to Read

    Language Development and Learning to Read

    The Scientific Study of How Language Development Affects Reading Skill

    Diane McGuinness

    Research on reading has tried, and failed, to account for wide disparities in reading skill even among children taught by the same method. Why do some children learn to read easily and quickly while others, in the same classroom and taught by the same teacher, don't learn to read at all? In Language Development and Learning to Read, Diane McGuinness examines scientific research that might explain these disparities. She focuses on reading predictors, analyzing the effect individual differences in specific perceptual, linguistic, and cognitive skills may have on a child's ability to read. Because of the serious methodological problems she finds in the existing research on reading, many of the studies McGuinness cites come from other fields—developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, and the speech and hearing sciences—and provide a new perspective on which language functions matter most for reading and academic success.

    McGuinness first examines the phonological development theory—the theory that phonological awareness follows a developmental path from words to syllables to phonemes—which has dominated reading research for thirty years, and finds that research evidence from other disciplines does not support the theory. McGuinness then looks at longitudinal studies on the development of general language function, and finds a "tantalizing connection" between core language functions and reading success. Finally, she analyzes mainstream reading research, which links reading ability to specific language skills, and the often flawed methodology used in these studies. McGuinness's analysis shows the urgent need for a shift in our thinking about how to achieve reading success.

    • Hardcover $45.00
    • Paperback $30.00
  • Global Institutions and Social Knowledge

    Global Institutions and Social Knowledge

    Generating Research at the Scripps Institution and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, 1900s–1990s

    Virginia M. Walsh

    This theoretical and empirical study examines the influence of global institutions on the generation of scientific knowledge. Virginia Walsh's approach reverses the traditional focus of international relations literature—which most often deals with how scientific knowledge influences institutions—and offers an original way to look at international environmental governance. After proposing a theory of institutional mechanisms by which global institutions shape the generation of knowledge, the book turns to detailed case studies of two institutions in the under- studied but vital area of marine science, the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, to illustrate these mechanisms.

    In part 1, "Theory," the book identifies three specific mechanisms or "fixes" that provide the means by which institutions shape the generation and use of knowledge. With the positional fix, key individuals use their social roles or positions in an institution to influence the beliefs of members or fix the direction of research. The statutory fix occurs when beliefs gain acceptance as a consequence of being embedded in rules or treaties. The committee fix is illustrated in the regularized practices through which social groups accept statements as group beliefs. Part 2, "Evidence," shows these mechanisms at work in the two case studies. The Scripps Institution, for example, illustrates the positional fix, as successive directors used their position to frame research. The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, on the other hand, exemplifies both the statutory fix and the committee fix in its regulatory actions.

    • Hardcover $11.75
    • Paperback $22.00
  • Early Reading Instruction

    Early Reading Instruction

    What Science Really Tells Us about How to Teach Reading

    Diane McGuinness

    Early Reading Instruction is a comprehensive analysis of the research evidence from early writing systems to computer models of reading. In this book, Diane McGuinness provides an innovative solution to the "reading war"—the century-old debate over the efficacy of phonics (sound-based) versus whole-word (meaning- based) methods. She has developed a prototype—a set of elements that are critical to the success of a reading method.

    McGuinness shows that all writing systems, without exception, are based on a sound unit in the language. This fact, and other findings by paleographers, provides a platform for the prototype. Other elements of the prototype are based on modern research. For example, observational studies in the classroom show that time spent on three activities strongly predicts reading success: learning phoneme/symbol correspondences, practice at blending and segmenting phonemes in words, and copying/writing words, phrases, and sentences. Most so-called literacy activities have no effect, and some, like sight word memorization, have a strongly negative effect.

    The National Reading Panel (2000) summarized the research on reading methods after screening out thousands of studies that failed to meet minimum scientific standards. In an in-depth analysis of this evidence, McGuinness shows that the most successful methods (children reading a year or more above age norms) include all the elements in the prototype. Finally, she argues, because phonics-type methods are consistently shown to be superior to whole-word methods in studies dating back to the 1960s, it makes no sense to continue this line of research. The most urgent question for future research is how to get the most effective phonics programs into the classroom.

    • Hardcover $9.75
    • Paperback $25.00