"Good learners, like everyone else, are living, squirming, questioning, perceiving, fearing, loving, and languaging nervous systems, but they are good learners precisely because they believe and do certain things that less effective learners do not believe and do." -Postman and Weingartner (31)
English 1020: Meeting New Genres (Winter 2014)
The projects in this composition course will require students to draw from prior genre knowledge (thinking about those genres with which they are most familiar) and to “remix” or “recontextualize” that knowledge as they encounter new writing tasks: the personal Discourse analysis the I-Search paper, and the evaluation/proposal assignment. Each project will require students to rethink how they apply and adapt prior knowledge, and how they use these experiences to approach unfamiliar genres.
English 1010 and English 1020: Writing and Learning Spaces (Winter 2014)
Specifically, this course will engage ENG 1010 and ENG 1020 students in researching writing and learning spaces in order to make decisions about redesigning two Wayne State University Composition computer classrooms, State Hall 335 and 337. As students work to create an improved learning space in these classrooms, they will engage in both service learning and collaborative learning, in a context that will impact their future work in these classrooms as well as the work of composition students across the university. In particular, we hope to engage students in researching and writing about the following questions: What is a positive, rich learning environment? How does environment impact learning? What can we do to enhance our writing/learning environment? Furthermore, as described above, the course builds explicit connections between composition courses, provides additional learning and teaching support for students, and engages students in composition projects that complement each other, to allow each set of students the space for demonstrating relative expertise.
Writing and Learning Spaces Syllabus
ENG 1020: Inquiry, Composition, and Reflection (Fall 2012)
John Dewey and Postman and Weingartner write about the importance of personal relevance to students’ learning, and about the need for students to develop habits that can help them learn and transfer knowledge to new contexts—question-asking is one of these habits. Reflective thinking and open-mindedness are two other habits Dewey calls for students to cultivate. Kathleen Blake Yancey writes about how, through reflection, students become “agents of their own learning”. Shari Stenberg says that teachers need to practice reflexive inquiry, understanding why they make the decisions they do for the classroom and where these choices come from. The work we do in ENG 1020 will reflect these ideas about learning.
The assignments for this course reflect a progression from the exploring your prior, individual knowledge and experience to building knowledge as a community of learners–from understanding yourself to thinking about how you operate as a part of a community of writers and to working with other members of that community on writing about an important issue.