Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2000




This essay argues that Basic Writing students, teachers, and scholarship are crucial to enabling colleges and universities to live up to their ideals of diversity, interdisciplinarity, and student-centered learning. BW scholars and teachers have developed ways to work with students to better understand the different perspectives they bring to their writing and learning, and to use those perspectives to break down barriers between academic and non-academic worlds and develop "borderland" knowledge and perspectives. The authors call for more research exploring the potential of basic writing students to develop such perspectives, and for research exploring the implications of BW scholarship for assisting in the retention of students and the revitalization of faculty committed to interdisciplinary learning. Finally, they call on working with BW students to assist teachers in researching and developing ways of fighting the material social barriers to the education of students and teachers.

Original Publication Information

This article was originally published in Journal of Basic Writing, volume 19, issue 1, in Spring 2000.