Supplemental Instruction (SI) has undergone many adaptations over its 35 year history as it has evolved to meet new developments in higher education while still maintaining its “original genetic code” (Martin and Blanc, 1995). During this time there have been some additions to its theoretical base to accommodate these developments. However, this paper contends that recent transformations of higher education challenge the adequacy of this base and call for complementing SI’s theoretical base with notions of student learning and literacy as situated social practice. It is argued that SI’s suite of principles lacks reference to research in what can be broadly termed “multiliteracies” (New London Group, 1996), which takes account of contemporary higher education now marked by heterogeneity in the cultural, linguistic and age profiles of students as well as the structure and assessment types of the new disciplines they study. The addition of a multiliteracies perspective will equip SI and its leaders to more fully support these new cohorts of students in negotiating the ideologically contested ground of higher education.
Recommended CitationCouchman, J. A., Who am I now? Accommodating New Higher Education Diversity in Supplemental Instruction, Journal of Peer Learning, 1, 2008, 80-89.