Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How to teach the writing teachers to teach, um, writing

This article from Inside Higher Ed is directed at undergraduate writing instructors but the thrust of it - examining ways to better train writing teachers to handle the challenges posed by students who arrive on campus with progressively weaker writing skills - has some application to our gig too.

"I was incredibly well trained to teach college writing, but only one course at a time. How do you teach five classes when you've only been trained to teach one?"

. . . .

[W]hen describing the skills a community college writing instructor needs, the discussion revolved around attitudes and comfort levels and largely focused on skills that would be needed by anyone teaching in a community college serving a diverse student body, regardless of the subject matter.

The current community college faculty members talked about needing to learn to be flexible, to deal with students with a range of educational needs, and to accept that many classes will include students with "complicated lives." One instructor said that what she wished master's programs provided was "how to have confidence in the face of a guy in your class who is a former prisoner, inked to the max, and wearing chains."

Well, o.k., maybe that last comment doesn't apply to us so much.

You can read the rest here.

I am the scholarship dude.



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