Use this space to post about this week's reading
This week's reading gives an overview of what assessment looks like in the field of Writing Studies--primarily the way it has evolved over time in post-secondary writing classrooms (and, I would argue, that that discussion paved the way for other disciplines in the university to consider assessment).
WHAT TO POST: When considering "assessment" in the field, I think that there is a difference between assessment and responding to student writing--they are connected but they are not the same. For this week's post, please post a reading journal that considers how this history of assessment connects to or contrasts with Inoue's ideas about assessment? Do you see any connections?
ONCE YOU'VE POSTED: Again, because we are doing this class asynchronously, please respond to at least one of your colleagues. Identify the ways they either agree with a point you make, disagree with a point your make, or in some way extends/builds on a point you make in ways that makes you think more deeply about the reading.
Use this space to post one of your annotations
If we were working on this in class, I would have asked folks to volunteer to allow me to life edit their annotation in front of the class. This kind of workshop is not a kind of workshop that you would do at the start of the semester with most students. It's a kind of workshop that requires a great deal of trust, because it can feel pretty brutal when done live. But when you've established trust in a classroom, this kind of workshop can be very powerful. Everyone learns something--the students who volunteer to have their annotations workshopped are helped, but all of the students watching the editing learn a lot too.
For our purposes, in an asynchronous setting, what I will do is comment on each of your annotations. My comments will be focused on three things: 1) I will look at sentences for clarity and brevity--because that is what makes a great annotation, potent, brief writing; 2) I will ask questions if I don't understand something about what you wrote; 3) I will make suggestions about organization for, again, brevity and potency.
WHAT TO POST: Please post one of your annotations from one of your articles. Remember that there is help on writing your annotations located on the assignment page for the reverse annotated bibliography.
In class on Tuesday, we brought to an end our largely historical discussion of the field of Rhet/Comp. We t talked about the role deficit thinking plays in the field and how, in some ways, we can understand the field as in contrast to writing classrooms that focus on error rather than possibility. We talked about the centrality of teaching and of first year writing to the field, certainly in the beginning, but, also, how during the 80s and 90s there was backlash against the "school marm" idea of what the field was about (Crowley).
We Also read the introduction to Asao Inoue's Antiracist Writing Assessment Inoue is a strong example of the kind of scholarship that the field is concerned with now. Here we see legacy--the way he positions writing instruction against ideas of error and deficit, the way he is even talking about a classroom and about teaching and how to teach writing, a concern for representation and diverse students and their success (which really is just the obvious continuation of ideas that were present in Elbow, Murray, etc). We see what has lasted as an area for research (writing instruction) and what has changed (what that instruction looks like).
To really dig deep into current scholarship in the field, this week I've asked folks to read Chapter five and one other chapter. I am repeating the groups and the chapters everyone is reading here:
Chapter 1 & 5 Chapter 2 & 5 Chapter 3 & 5. Chapter 4 & 5
Brian, Maura, & Olivia Alyssa, Megan, & Sarah Ashley, Kayleigh, & Matt Melissa & Shauna
THE PROMPT: Check out the questions that we developed in class on Tuesday night based on discussion of the introduction to Inoue by clicking on this link (same one as I put in the chat on Tuesday and also available on our syllabus and class update page).
As you read your two assigned chapters, see what your chapters offer as answers to these questions. As you post, you might focus on one question you think he addresses a lot in your section or you might focus on a few questions. It's unlikely that any one chapter will answer all of the questions. Post a reading journal that explores how Inoue answers one or more of these questions.
In-class, you'll have time in these small groups to share notes about the most important ideas in your chapter. You should be prepared to share that information with the rest of the class. We'll have a discussion about the ways our questions are answered (and perhaps not answered) in the further chapters of Inoue's text.
Among the many topics we might cover this week, one of them is what do we do with first year writing in the field of Composition & Rhetoric? If there was one question that you could say has shaped this discipline, I would argue that this most certainly is it. Tonight's reading demonstrates ways the discipline remains committed to first year writing and the ways it has complicated, even distanced itself, from that relationship. I do not think we will ever settle on what FYW is, what it should be, what role it should play in the scholarship of the discipline.
Central to any discussion of FYW is a discussion of student experience in the class, and, so, for tonight's in-class writing, please post what you can remember about your first year writing experience. I know it's been a while for some of us, but, still, try.
Once everyone has posted, we'll read and respond to each other's posts as part of tonight's class discussion.
The title of this week's Discussion Board post is misleading, but only a little. You may not know this, but Bridgewater is the third oldest Normal school in the country, and the only one still in operation in its original location. BSU was founded by Horace Mann in 1840 as a "normal" school--or a school that was not a university. Normal schools were Mann's idea for how to train the vast number of teachers that the new fangled-idea of public schools very much needed. Back then, BSU was known as The State Normal School at Bridgewater.
In the field of Composition and Rhetoric, the standard History (capital "H")--that you read some of last week and will read about (again) in the Crowley reading from this week--identifies Adam Sherman Hill Class A at Harvard as the start of what we have come to know as Composition, and that's not wrong; however, the Fitzgerald reading for this week suggests an alternate way to consider the history of literacy instruction that stems from the Normal School curriculum--and, thus, one that stems from K-12 education.
For this week's Reading Response: remember the central purpose of the Reading Response assignment: What is the central argument or arguments you can trace through the readings for this week? But, as you do this, react to this idea: What is the relationship between K-12 education and First Year Writing, commonly acronym as FYW or FYC (for Composition)? What does the relationship seem to be, historically, and what kind of unicorn, fantasy, perfect world relationship could there be?
As you write, consider your own experiences in first year writing classes--if you had them.
NOTE: I realize that this question seems to ignore the Asao Inoue reading for this week, and please feel free to write about that introduction too. I know that it might be the thing many of you are more interested in writing about. But because you will have the chance to write extensively about Inoue in the coming weeks, I wanted to give us a chance to close out our discussions that attempt to position the field of Composition and Rhetoric historically--both in the University and in the wider world.