Sunday, September 6, 2009

Northwest regional conference, report #4

The final session before lunch focused on New Takes on Tried and True Teaching Ideas.

Mark DeForrest of Gonzaga discussed using Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham City Jail to teach persuasive writing techniques.  He described the letter as akin to a reply brief and emphasized how King considered the multiple audiences to whom he was writing and used authorities from their religious belief systems to build his own arguments.

P1030607 Kim Holst of Hamline talked about using fairy tales to establish a common language and references throughout a course and to use them to teach persuasive techniques.  She discussed writing the facts both objectively and persuasively and using the story to develop different theories of the case as well as identifying some of the fairy tales that work best (click on the picture for a larger image, which should allow you to read the slide on which they're listed).

Heidi Holland and Kevin Shelley of Gonzaga discussed using colored highlighters to identify the various parts of a legal analysis and using a hamburger analogy to help students better understand organization and reader expectations ("where's the beef?").

Greg Johnson of Vermont wrapped up the hour by talking about Mary Lawrence's curriculum and pedagogy from over 20 years ago and its timeliness today.  He talked about her realization, woven into her materials, that writing includes and requires analysis and an entire cognitive process.


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