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Possibilities For Writing Pedagogy
For about two decades, say Johnson and Pace, the discussion of how to address prose style in teaching college writing has been stuck, with style standing in as a proxy for other stakes in the theory wars.
The traditional argument is evidently still quite persuasive to some—that teaching style is mostly a matter of teaching generic conventions through repetition and practice. Such a position usually presumes the traditional view of composition as essentially a service course, one without content of its own. On the other side, the shortcomings of this argument have been much discussed—that it neglects invention, revision, context, meaning, even truth; that it is not congruent with research; that it ignores 100 years of scholarship establishing composition's intellectual territory beyond "service."
The discussion is stuck there, and all sides have been giving it a rest in recent scholarship. Yet style remains of vital practical interest to the field, because everyone has to teach it one way or another.
A consequence of the impasse is that a theory of style itself has not been well articulated. Johnson and Pace suggest that moving the field toward a better consensus will require establishing style as a clearer subject of inquiry.
Accordingly, this collection takes up a comprehensive study of the subject. Part I explores the recent history of composition studies, the ways it has figured and all but effaced the whole question of prose style. Part II takes to heart Elbow's suggestion that composition and literature, particularly as conceptualized in the context of creative writing courses, have something to learn from each other. Part III sketches practical classroom procedures for heightening students' abilities to engage style, and part IV explores new theoretical frameworks for defining this vital and much neglected territory.
The hope of the essays here—focusing as they do on historical, aesthetic, practical, and theoretical issues—is to awaken composition studies to the possibilities of style, and, in turn, to rejuvenate a great many classrooms.
Yancey explores reflection as a promising body of practice and inquiry in the writing classroom. Yancey develops a line of research based on concepts of philosopher Donald Schon and others involving the role of deliberative reflection in classroom contexts. Developing the concepts of reflection-in-action, constructive reflection, and reflection-in-presentation, she offers a structure for discussing how reflection operates as students compose individual pieces of writing, as they progress through successive writings, and as they deliberately review a compiled body of their work-a portfolio, for example. Throughout the book, she explores how reflection can enhance student learning along with teacher response to and evaluation of student writing.
Reflection in the Writing Classroom will be a valuable addition to the personal library of faculty currently teaching in or administering a writing program; it is also a natural for graduate students who teach writing courses, for the TA training program, or for the English Education program.
Preparing Teachers to Educate Working-Class Students in Their Collective Self-Interest
Using a social justice approach to teacher education, the contributing teacher educators address the need to prepare teachers to understand the way social class, race, and culture impact their efforts to educate working-class students. By helping prepare teachers to strengthen democracy through education, the contributors offer ways to help them develop “critical consciousness”—the will to address society’s injustices and inequities. Teachers who collaborate actively with their students, their families, and others, such as community and labor organizers, to challenge the economic and educational policies that keep the hierarchical structure in place, develop their own educational and political power alongside their students. These educators see schools as sites of struggle for democracy, and their students learn to direct their attitude toward outcomes that are in their collective self-interest.
A Guide for the 21st-Century Classroom
Teaching Africa introduces innovative strategies for teaching about Africa. The contributors address misperceptions about Africa and Africans, incorporate the latest technologies of teaching and learning, and give practical advice for creating successful lesson plans, classroom activities, and study abroad programs. Teachers in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences will find helpful hints and tips on how to bridge the knowledge gap and motivate understanding of Africa in a globalizing world.
Vol. 1 (2013) through current issue
Teaching and Learning Inquiry (TLI) publishes insightful research, theory, commentary, and other scholarly works that document or facilitate investigations of teaching and learning in higher education. TLI values quality and variety in its vision of the scholarship of teaching and learning. Its pages will showcase the breadth of the interdisciplinary field of SoTL in its explicit methodological pluralism, its call for traditional and new genres, and its international authorship from across career stages.
Statistical and anecdotal evidence documents that even states with relatively little ethnic or cultural diversity are beginning to notice and ask questions about long-term resident immigrants in their classes. As shifts in student population become more widespread, there is an even greater need for second language specialists, composition specialists, program administrators, and developers in colleges and universities to understand and adapt to the needs of the changing student audience(s). This book is designed as an introduction to the topic of diverse second language student audiences in U.S. post-secondary education. It is appropriate for those interested in working with students in academic settings, especially those students who are transitioning from secondary to post-secondary education. It provides a coherent synthesis and summary not only of the scope and nature of the changes but of their practical implications for program administration, course design, and classroom instruction, particularly for writing courses. For pre-service teachers and those new(er) to the field of working with L2 student writers, it offers an accessible and focused look at the “audience” issues with many practical suggestions. For teacher-educators and administrators, it offers a resource that can inform their own decision-making.
Bruce McComiskey is a strong advocate of social approaches to teaching writing. However, he opposes composition teaching that relies on cultural theory for content, because it too often prejudges the ethical character of institutions and reverts unnecessarily to product-centered practices in the classroom. He opposes what he calls the "read-this-essay-and-do-what-the-author-did method of writing instruction: read Roland Barthes's essay 'Toys' and write a similar essay; read John Fiske's essay on TV and critique a show."
McComiskey argues for teaching writing as situated in discourse itself, in the constant flow of texts produced within social relationships and institutions. He urges writing teachers not to neglect the linguistic and rhetorical levels of composing, but rather to strengthen them with attention to the social contexts and ideological investments that pervade both the processes and products of writing.
A work with a sophisticated theory base, and full of examples from McComiskey's own classrooms, Teaching Composition as a Social Process will be valued by experienced and beginning composition teachers alike.
The Challenge for Teacher Education
Teacher educators from ten institutions and programs in the United States, Canada, and Germany describe the ways in which they have changed teacher preparation to more fully incorporate cooperative learning concepts. Analytical commentaries on the programs highlight the learning experience of these programs as well as underlying issues of needed reforms in teacher education. Included among best practices in education, cooperative learning may require a shift in program philosophy and disciplinary areas to meet the challenge of complex organizations and diverse student populations. As the essays in the volume demonstrate, a new alignment of field experiences to provide support for novices to implement cooperative strategies, and to receive timely and effective supervision for these attempts, may also be required.
In examining ideokinesis and its application to the teaching and practice of dancing, Drid Williams introduces readers to the work of Dr. Lulu Sweigard (1895-1974), a pioneer of ideokinetic principles. Drawing on her experiences during private instructional sessions with Sweigard over a two-year span, Williams discusses methods using imagery for improving body posture and alignment for ease of movement. Central to Williams's own teaching methods is the application of Sweigard's principles and general anatomical instruction, including how she used visual imagery to help prevent bodily injuries and increasing body awareness relative to movement. Williams also emphasizes the differences between kinesthetic (internal) and mirror (external) imagery and shares reactions from professional dancers who were taught using ideokinesis. Williams's account of teaching and practicing ideokinesis is supplemented with essays by Sweigard, William James, and Jean-Georges Noverre on dancing, posture, and habits.