This course, through reading and fieldwork, introduces students to the various approaches that guide the study and teaching of writing. In it, we will explore the different methods of teaching writing that have emerged in the last fifty years, ranging from methods for teaching students how to produce texts to methods for assessing these texts. We will also examine the research and theories that underscore these methods, starting with the emergence of the process movement in the 1960s and then inquiring into its various manifestations (and critiques of these manifestations) in the years since, including the impact of new media. Along the way, I hope we can begin to think critically about the various approaches that inform the teaching of writing, in particular, what values and assumptions guide these approaches and whose interests they serve, so that we all can become more self-reflective readers, writers, and teachers. Most of all, though, I would like this course to give us all a chance to think about what it means to teach writing, to develop and share our own goals for teaching writing, and to generate and articulate practices that will help us achieve these goals. Coursework will include keeping a reading journal, conducting a brief teaching ethnography, preparing a bibliography and curriculum design presentation, and creating a teaching portfolio.
This course has an optional service-learning component which will bring students into local K-12 classrooms to practice work (three to four hours each week) as tutors, mentors, and writing coaches. Placement sites include Shorecrest and Franklin High Schools as well as other local Pipeline schools. Those who opt to do service learning will have the option to register for additional credit hours of English 491, if they choose. For those who participate, the service learning in this course will fulfill 30-40 of the observation hours that students are required to complete prior to applying to the UW Masters in Teaching program.
Course Text: Susan Miller. The Norton Book of Composition Studies