Writing Theory & Practice 2016-11-14 20:06:00

Bi, Butch, and Bar Dyke: Pedagogical Performances of Class, Gender, and Sexuality
By: Gibson, Marinara, and Meem

After reading the first section of the article titled Bi: Playing with fixed identities, I had mixed emotions. I enjoyed her anecdotes, especially the Tinker Bell reference. I was suprised her composition class was unwilling to read Rich’s “When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-vision.” However, maybe I was distracted reading this section, but I kept waiting for this discussion, albeit an important one, to turn towards writing. I may have missed the part where she discusses voice and finding yourself in your writing, but I felt like this section was a bit wordy, a bit opinionated, and a bit overwhelming. I tried to understand her points, but I kept getting lost in my own question of “Where is this going?”.
I enjoyed the second section more. I found the author’s anecdote about her male colleague who called her “bossy” very interesting. I originally read it as an annoyed colleague and less as a sexuality issue. I did not view him as challenging her the only way he knew how; however, I see that now. The author discusses the difference between butch and femme identities, stating that butch is considered higher class than femme. This section left me wondering though. She discusses that because of her open “butchness” that she receives a certain attention, such as students coming out to her or asking for advice, colleagues wanting to engage in debates about gender and sexuality, and being asked to participate on different panels. I couldn’t decide how she felt about this. As I read it, I felt like she was offended that her butchness brought this out in the people in her life. However, at the same time, she declares that she is going to continue to “own” who she is.
I also enjoyed the following section titled Bar Dyke. I felt that this section was the easiest to understand. After reading excerpts from the author’s dossier, I was shocked and horrified at the University’s response. I was upset to read that the university wanted her to conform more to identifying with the scholars and her colleagues, more so than her students. I also found it interesting that Dr. Gatekeeper told her that basically it didn’t matter if she changed it or not, she was still highly perceived. Why bother addressing it at all then, especially when it was pure academic discomfort on their part rather than something she did wrong? I think this speaks to the power struggle we discussed in earlier classes and how that goes hand in hand with people's comfort levels.

Looking Back as We Look Forward: Historicizing Writing Assessment
By Kathleen Blake Yancey

This article opens up by addressing an overview of the three waves of writing assessment: Objective tests, holistically scored essays, and portfolio assessments, where we reside today. The history of the first wave of assessment came from aligning our assessments with the standards, as a way to place and move students to different courses. However, most of these objective tests did not include writing samples, posing a unique concern about where to place these students and whose responsibility was it. The second wave addressed the concerns of validity and reliability, which I found very interesting. It’s true that we need to find trustworthy ways to assess writing, in correlation to being consistent. The third wave of writing assessment addressed the needs for portfolio writing. The question of how to grade these portfolios came up. According to the text, “community standards are developed, and through these standards that fairer grades can be derived. Moreover, they claim, this process enables us to refine responding skills that can be taken back to the classroom. This model of assessment, then, functions three ways: (1) as a sorting mechanism (pass-fail); (2) as a check on practice; (3) as a means of faculty development” (493). This part of the text stood out to me as a teacher because I am constantly wondering if I am assessing my students correctly. I can grade them based off of if they are practicing what I teach, but how do you assess other areas. I am constantly voicing my opinion for a communal standard that we can relate back to. I graded my districts honors entrance essays, and went to the meeting with the assumption that I would be instructed on what makes for a high scoring paper and what doesn’t. Instead, I was thrown a rubric and told to Go. I would love to see more of collaboration in deciding on writing assessment standards.

Writing Theory & Practice 2016-11-14 20:06:00

Bi, Butch, and Bar Dyke: Pedagogical Performances of Class, Gender, and Sexuality
By: Gibson, Marinara, and Meem

After reading the first section of the article titled Bi: Playing with fixed identities, I had mixed emotions. I enjoyed her anecdotes, especially the Tinker Bell reference. I was suprised her composition class was unwilling to read Rich’s “When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-vision.” However, maybe I was distracted reading this section, but I kept waiting for this discussion, albeit an important one, to turn towards writing. I may have missed the part where she discusses voice and finding yourself in your writing, but I felt like this section was a bit wordy, a bit opinionated, and a bit overwhelming. I tried to understand her points, but I kept getting lost in my own question of “Where is this going?”.
I enjoyed the second section more. I found the author’s anecdote about her male colleague who called her “bossy” very interesting. I originally read it as an annoyed colleague and less as a sexuality issue. I did not view him as challenging her the only way he knew how; however, I see that now. The author discusses the difference between butch and femme identities, stating that butch is considered higher class than femme. This section left me wondering though. She discusses that because of her open “butchness” that she receives a certain attention, such as students coming out to her or asking for advice, colleagues wanting to engage in debates about gender and sexuality, and being asked to participate on different panels. I couldn’t decide how she felt about this. As I read it, I felt like she was offended that her butchness brought this out in the people in her life. However, at the same time, she declares that she is going to continue to “own” who she is.
I also enjoyed the following section titled Bar Dyke. I felt that this section was the easiest to understand. After reading excerpts from the author’s dossier, I was shocked and horrified at the University’s response. I was upset to read that the university wanted her to conform more to identifying with the scholars and her colleagues, more so than her students. I also found it interesting that Dr. Gatekeeper told her that basically it didn’t matter if she changed it or not, she was still highly perceived. Why bother addressing it at all then, especially when it was pure academic discomfort on their part rather than something she did wrong? I think this speaks to the power struggle we discussed in earlier classes and how that goes hand in hand with people's comfort levels.

Looking Back as We Look Forward: Historicizing Writing Assessment
By Kathleen Blake Yancey

This article opens up by addressing an overview of the three waves of writing assessment: Objective tests, holistically scored essays, and portfolio assessments, where we reside today. The history of the first wave of assessment came from aligning our assessments with the standards, as a way to place and move students to different courses. However, most of these objective tests did not include writing samples, posing a unique concern about where to place these students and whose responsibility was it. The second wave addressed the concerns of validity and reliability, which I found very interesting. It’s true that we need to find trustworthy ways to assess writing, in correlation to being consistent. The third wave of writing assessment addressed the needs for portfolio writing. The question of how to grade these portfolios came up. According to the text, “community standards are developed, and through these standards that fairer grades can be derived. Moreover, they claim, this process enables us to refine responding skills that can be taken back to the classroom. This model of assessment, then, functions three ways: (1) as a sorting mechanism (pass-fail); (2) as a check on practice; (3) as a means of faculty development” (493). This part of the text stood out to me as a teacher because I am constantly wondering if I am assessing my students correctly. I can grade them based off of if they are practicing what I teach, but how do you assess other areas. I am constantly voicing my opinion for a communal standard that we can relate back to. I graded my districts honors entrance essays, and went to the meeting with the assumption that I would be instructed on what makes for a high scoring paper and what doesn’t. Instead, I was thrown a rubric and told to Go. I would love to see more of collaboration in deciding on writing assessment standards.

Creating a New Environment 2016-11-14 20:03:00

Eng. 5020
Dr. Zamora
Writing Theory & Practice 
Blog 7

                                                   Who is the authority ? 


What is your definition of different?  Adults Bi, Butch, and Bar Dyke in the twentieth century have been telling their stories for years. One's mind set determines how " complicate the notion that identities can be performed in clean, organized, distinct ways by examining the theorizing our own experiences of class, gender, and sexual identity performance " when the stories are read. I think that all people from all walks of life have the same struggles with their identity personally and professionally. All educators have a degree of expectation of building relationships with their students. Some Bi, Butch, and Bar Dyke cannot be in the closet because of some accumulative stereotypical learned aspects some students bring to class. I personally agree with Bill Clinton when he suggested to the military personnel  "Don't ask don't tell" to avoid complications. I also agree with Michelle Gibson, Martha Marinara, and Deborah Meem when they wrote" The space created by opening up identity allows for a more open-ended model of collective identity and poses hard questions about the nature and definitions of political subject positions as one is both enlarged and oppressed by constantly shifting alliances" maintain the students engagement in the classroom and unwarranted questions in  their political environment. 

                                                Testing for entry?


Like with most processes  change comes with progress.  I agree with Yancy as she explains" A related approach constructs the history of writing assessment as the struggle between and among scholars and testing practitioners and faculty, those who speak the terms validity and reliability quite differently: the old expert; the new non expert, from this perspective, the last 50 years of writing assessment can be narrativized as the teacher-layperson ( often successfully) challenging the (psychometric ) expert, developing and then applying  both expertise and theory located not in psychometrics, but in rhetoric, in reading  and hermeneutics, and, increasingly, in writing practice " is part of our accumulative  process of writing assessment. We are now faced with a standing concern of " what (else) might we learn from writing assessment? And how would we learn? Underlying these concerns is a particular construct of writing assessment itself:" as we focus on identifying future placement processes. There are many concerns to factor when considering any aspects of educational processes.  Which might take us back to the first wave " What is the best or most valid measure of writing?"-but a tied to theory, to institutional need, to cost, and ultimately to efficiency [ Williamson)-"Which measure can do the best ad fairest job of prediction with the least amount of work and the lowest cost?" as testing is constantly being considered. 


Writing  should not be assessed by a timed test only. Students  accumulative writing exercises in the last class should also be considered. I agree with Yancy as she shares " we knows that for a valid test of writing performance, multiple writing sample written on different occasions and in various rhetorical modes are preferable to single samples drawn from an isolated writing instance" considering a more accurate assessment.

Creating a New Environment 2016-11-14 20:03:00

Eng. 5020
Dr. Zamora
Writing Theory & Practice 
Blog 7

                                                   Who is the authority ? 


What is your definition of different?  Adults Bi, Butch, and Bar Dyke in the twentieth century have been telling their stories for years. One's mind set determines how " complicate the notion that identities can be performed in clean, organized, distinct ways by examining the theorizing our own experiences of class, gender, and sexual identity performance " when the stories are read. I think that all people from all walks of life have the same struggles with their identity personally and professionally. All educators have a degree of expectation of building relationships with their students. Some Bi, Butch, and Bar Dyke cannot be in the closet because of some accumulative stereotypical learned aspects some students bring to class. I personally agree with Bill Clinton when he suggested to the military personnel  "Don't ask don't tell" to avoid complications. I also agree with Michelle Gibson, Martha Marinara, and Deborah Meem when they wrote" The space created by opening up identity allows for a more open-ended model of collective identity and poses hard questions about the nature and definitions of political subject positions as one is both enlarged and oppressed by constantly shifting alliances" maintain the students engagement in the classroom and unwarranted questions in  their political environment. 

                                                Testing for entry?


Like with most processes  change comes with progress.  I agree with Yancy as she explains" A related approach constructs the history of writing assessment as the struggle between and among scholars and testing practitioners and faculty, those who speak the terms validity and reliability quite differently: the old expert; the new non expert, from this perspective, the last 50 years of writing assessment can be narrativized as the teacher-layperson ( often successfully) challenging the (psychometric ) expert, developing and then applying  both expertise and theory located not in psychometrics, but in rhetoric, in reading  and hermeneutics, and, increasingly, in writing practice " is part of our accumulative  process of writing assessment. We are now faced with a standing concern of " what (else) might we learn from writing assessment? And how would we learn? Underlying these concerns is a particular construct of writing assessment itself:" as we focus on identifying future placement processes. There are many concerns to factor when considering any aspects of educational processes.  Which might take us back to the first wave " What is the best or most valid measure of writing?"-but a tied to theory, to institutional need, to cost, and ultimately to efficiency [ Williamson)-"Which measure can do the best ad fairest job of prediction with the least amount of work and the lowest cost?" as testing is constantly being considered. 


Writing  should not be assessed by a timed test only. Students  accumulative writing exercises in the last class should also be considered. I agree with Yancy as she shares " we knows that for a valid test of writing performance, multiple writing sample written on different occasions and in various rhetorical modes are preferable to single samples drawn from an isolated writing instance" considering a more accurate assessment.

Looking Back and Looking Forward– Blog #7

"Looking Back as We Look Forward: Historicizing Writing Assessment" by Kathleen Yancey

It's always interesting to consider how things change as years go by, and writing assessment is no exception to this. Upon delving into this essay, I found myself immediately stopping to consider that, as we have discussed before, writing assessment and composition studies have only really been analyzed since the 1950s. When we discuss waves and trends therefore, they are only dating back ~66 years, which is a chunk of time, but certainly not very much relatively. This is a bit of a tangent, but it makes me wonder what writing instruction in schools was like earlier in history. 

Going back to the essay, Yancey writes about the three waves of writing assessment: objective tests (1950s-70s), the hollistically scored essay (1970-86), and portfolio/programmatic assessment (2986-present). These three approaches are exactly as different as they appear, but they share the commonality that all are grounded in method. 

I think there is a good deal of merit in suggesting that other approaches to writing assessment are equally as valid, because the three waves mentioned in Yancey's piece give a great deal of power to the teacher as the final judge over a student's writing and, as we have discussed in other classes, this often does not yield the best outcome. For this reason, I appreciate the future issues that Yancey points to, first, the role of students' "self" in their writing, second, how assessment can be used to help students and third, what the teacher can learn from the assessment. I appreciate the focus on these issues because I think they offer much more to everyone involved in the writing process. They are less objective goals and leave room for subjective findings.

From what I gathered through this essay, the three waves had their purposes in student writing. Objective tests and portfolio assessment did work in some contexts and for some students, but a big part of teaching is adjusting to changing times and changing needs. In the 50s, for example, Yancey notes that the use of tests served to determine what the students needed to know and where they should be placed. A solid example of this would be Paul Diederich's explanation of "The best test to use at the college entrance level..." (7). He offers a fair, objective presentation about how students results should correspond to one another, but fails to take into consideration all of the variables that can change. As Yancey notes, Diederich's placement exercise is "an exercise in numbers, not words" (7). 

As time went on, modes of assessment shifted and the question of validity came into the picture. Instead of looking at objective test scores, new forms of assessment examined the essay test and measured it up against certain standards of reliability. Instead of comparing numerial scores, this movement emphasized the comparison of works. This form of assessment was a huge step forward because it helped to bring composition into the real world, rather than in the classroom, relegated to a numerial scale.

The third wave contained elements of both the first and the second and, to this day, is still practiced in classrooms. What stood out most about this wave was that, unlike in the second wave where teachers read and graded work, teachers are now encouraged to conference and come to "an agreeable compromise...[coming to] communal agreement" (Elbow, qtd. in Yancey 11).

Reading through this essay, what is most interesting to me is, as we have discussed, the huge amount of variation in methods and corresponding effectiveness. Portfolios are discussed as being ways to grade samples of students' work, but some consider them "messy" and too varied between students. Personally, I would think that the portfolio would be a highly effective way of evaluation, but not everyone would agree. The constand redefinition of standards is helpful, but also brings to light the fact that there is no perfect way to teach, or assess. The methods that work for some students will not work for others, and therefore the classroom tends to turn into a utilitarian movement of doing the most good for the most students. 

However, my biggest draw from this article is that by taking into consideration the methods of the past and the corresponding results, we are able to attempt to teach and help others in the best way that we possible can. By taking into consideration both the three waves of the past, as well as future considerations (i.e. self in writing, etc...) we are able to shape a classroom that choose an approach while keeping in mind that learning is not, and will never be, one-size-fits-all.

"Bi, Butch, and Bar Dyke: Pedagogical Performances of Class, Gender, and Sexuality" by Michelle Gibson, Matha Marinara, and Deborah Meem

In the last article by Kathleen Yancey, we were asked to look back at the history of writing assessment. This article presents a compelling juxtaposition, because it discusses a topic that is very much at the forefront of our day and age: identity. This pressing concern, relevant to many in our day and age, is bound to reflect on the experience of writing and expression, and Gibson, Marinara, and Meem present a fantastic discussion of what it has meant to them in their respective experinces.

 Much of what we depend on in writing relies on structure, context, and social identity, and sometimes these things are not as black and white as they might initially seem. This is especially true for those among us who have built their lives around "building, manipulating, and rebuilding the cultural context(s) in whhich they form their social identities" (4). Writing, true writing, is about finding yourself, finding your voice and who you are, both as a writer and as a person. The authors explain that this can be hard when a person is attempting to do this in the midst of a culture full of binaries. How can you find "the real me" when you are struggling to define "the real me"?

I find this discussion fancinating because I, personally, am not familiar with the struggles that these groups face, and I think it is crucial to understand a situation from all angles. How can a teacher effectively teach a group of students if he or she is not aware of the struggles they might be facing? Writing is a process that, when done well, can strip you bare. It is the one of the most revealing things in the world. How can I stand in front of a student and tell them to write about "the real them," when they're struggling to figure out who that person is?

A topic such as sexuality can through a huge wrench into how a writer writes, or how people relate to him or her. I think this could be because the world is still getting used to such topics begin discussed, after so many years in the shadows. Things that are close to our hearts and define us are bound to shape our experiences in the world, how we see others and how others see us. Whereas some are influenced by race, some by faith, and some by class, others still are shaped by sexuality and, within this categorization, some fall in the LGBTQ+ spectrum.

I believe it is a huge challenge to bring many identities into the traditional classroom because, if there's one stereotype about academia, it's that the structures are the structures. It's okay to write controversial things...if they service those who need to be serviced. Michelle Gibson's contribution to the essay certainly pointed to that truth-- as she explained that the higher-ups did not approve of the way in which she related to her students. The writers of this piece have stood against the traditional ways, and expressed their experiences in ways that have helped their students, and provided a degree of understanding that one outside of the community might not otherwise understand.

---

To conclude my blog, I am including the link to the Google Doc which contains the first draft of my #WhyIWrite project. I have begun the document with a brief introduction of why I write, and then I move into my list of tools and inspiration for college students in a college composition class. I have tried to approach this project from the perspective of a teacher facing a mixed group of students, some who love writing, but also those who do not. The internet has so many amazing tools to offer, and every time I found one new resource, a new batch would pop up! Right now I have about 5 tools, but I plan on at least doubling this amount for the final project. Additionally, my plan is to link each tool that I list to one (or more) of the articles we have read in class, to illustrate how the tool helps to solve the problem discussed in the article. At this point I know that each tool corresponds to an article, but I need to go through and find the specific articles. I feel that I am in a good place with this project thus far, and I'm quite excited to continue on. I hope I get to implement some of these strategies myself, one day!

#WhyIWrite Project

Looking Back and Looking Forward– Blog #7

"Looking Back as We Look Forward: Historicizing Writing Assessment" by Kathleen Yancey

It's always interesting to consider how things change as years go by, and writing assessment is no exception to this. Upon delving into this essay, I found myself immediately stopping to consider that, as we have discussed before, writing assessment and composition studies have only really been analyzed since the 1950s. When we discuss waves and trends therefore, they are only dating back ~66 years, which is a chunk of time, but certainly not very much relatively. This is a bit of a tangent, but it makes me wonder what writing instruction in schools was like earlier in history. 

Going back to the essay, Yancey writes about the three waves of writing assessment: objective tests (1950s-70s), the hollistically scored essay (1970-86), and portfolio/programmatic assessment (2986-present). These three approaches are exactly as different as they appear, but they share the commonality that all are grounded in method. 

I think there is a good deal of merit in suggesting that other approaches to writing assessment are equally as valid, because the three waves mentioned in Yancey's piece give a great deal of power to the teacher as the final judge over a student's writing and, as we have discussed in other classes, this often does not yield the best outcome. For this reason, I appreciate the future issues that Yancey points to, first, the role of students' "self" in their writing, second, how assessment can be used to help students and third, what the teacher can learn from the assessment. I appreciate the focus on these issues because I think they offer much more to everyone involved in the writing process. They are less objective goals and leave room for subjective findings.

From what I gathered through this essay, the three waves had their purposes in student writing. Objective tests and portfolio assessment did work in some contexts and for some students, but a big part of teaching is adjusting to changing times and changing needs. In the 50s, for example, Yancey notes that the use of tests served to determine what the students needed to know and where they should be placed. A solid example of this would be Paul Diederich's explanation of "The best test to use at the college entrance level..." (7). He offers a fair, objective presentation about how students results should correspond to one another, but fails to take into consideration all of the variables that can change. As Yancey notes, Diederich's placement exercise is "an exercise in numbers, not words" (7). 

As time went on, modes of assessment shifted and the question of validity came into the picture. Instead of looking at objective test scores, new forms of assessment examined the essay test and measured it up against certain standards of reliability. Instead of comparing numerial scores, this movement emphasized the comparison of works. This form of assessment was a huge step forward because it helped to bring composition into the real world, rather than in the classroom, relegated to a numerial scale.

The third wave contained elements of both the first and the second and, to this day, is still practiced in classrooms. What stood out most about this wave was that, unlike in the second wave where teachers read and graded work, teachers are now encouraged to conference and come to "an agreeable compromise...[coming to] communal agreement" (Elbow, qtd. in Yancey 11).

Reading through this essay, what is most interesting to me is, as we have discussed, the huge amount of variation in methods and corresponding effectiveness. Portfolios are discussed as being ways to grade samples of students' work, but some consider them "messy" and too varied between students. Personally, I would think that the portfolio would be a highly effective way of evaluation, but not everyone would agree. The constand redefinition of standards is helpful, but also brings to light the fact that there is no perfect way to teach, or assess. The methods that work for some students will not work for others, and therefore the classroom tends to turn into a utilitarian movement of doing the most good for the most students. 

However, my biggest draw from this article is that by taking into consideration the methods of the past and the corresponding results, we are able to attempt to teach and help others in the best way that we possible can. By taking into consideration both the three waves of the past, as well as future considerations (i.e. self in writing, etc...) we are able to shape a classroom that choose an approach while keeping in mind that learning is not, and will never be, one-size-fits-all.

"Bi, Butch, and Bar Dyke: Pedagogical Performances of Class, Gender, and Sexuality" by Michelle Gibson, Matha Marinara, and Deborah Meem

In the last article by Kathleen Yancey, we were asked to look back at the history of writing assessment. This article presents a compelling juxtaposition, because it discusses a topic that is very much at the forefront of our day and age: identity. This pressing concern, relevant to many in our day and age, is bound to reflect on the experience of writing and expression, and Gibson, Marinara, and Meem present a fantastic discussion of what it has meant to them in their respective experinces.

 Much of what we depend on in writing relies on structure, context, and social identity, and sometimes these things are not as black and white as they might initially seem. This is especially true for those among us who have built their lives around "building, manipulating, and rebuilding the cultural context(s) in whhich they form their social identities" (4). Writing, true writing, is about finding yourself, finding your voice and who you are, both as a writer and as a person. The authors explain that this can be hard when a person is attempting to do this in the midst of a culture full of binaries. How can you find "the real me" when you are struggling to define "the real me"?

I find this discussion fancinating because I, personally, am not familiar with the struggles that these groups face, and I think it is crucial to understand a situation from all angles. How can a teacher effectively teach a group of students if he or she is not aware of the struggles they might be facing? Writing is a process that, when done well, can strip you bare. It is the one of the most revealing things in the world. How can I stand in front of a student and tell them to write about "the real them," when they're struggling to figure out who that person is?

A topic such as sexuality can through a huge wrench into how a writer writes, or how people relate to him or her. I think this could be because the world is still getting used to such topics begin discussed, after so many years in the shadows. Things that are close to our hearts and define us are bound to shape our experiences in the world, how we see others and how others see us. Whereas some are influenced by race, some by faith, and some by class, others still are shaped by sexuality and, within this categorization, some fall in the LGBTQ+ spectrum.

I believe it is a huge challenge to bring many identities into the traditional classroom because, if there's one stereotype about academia, it's that the structures are the structures. It's okay to write controversial things...if they service those who need to be serviced. Michelle Gibson's contribution to the essay certainly pointed to that truth-- as she explained that the higher-ups did not approve of the way in which she related to her students. The writers of this piece have stood against the traditional ways, and expressed their experiences in ways that have helped their students, and provided a degree of understanding that one outside of the community might not otherwise understand.

---

To conclude my blog, I am including the link to the Google Doc which contains the first draft of my #WhyIWrite project. I have begun the document with a brief introduction of why I write, and then I move into my list of tools and inspiration for college students in a college composition class. I have tried to approach this project from the perspective of a teacher facing a mixed group of students, some who love writing, but also those who do not. The internet has so many amazing tools to offer, and every time I found one new resource, a new batch would pop up! Right now I have about 5 tools, but I plan on at least doubling this amount for the final project. Additionally, my plan is to link each tool that I list to one (or more) of the articles we have read in class, to illustrate how the tool helps to solve the problem discussed in the article. At this point I know that each tool corresponds to an article, but I need to go through and find the specific articles. I feel that I am in a good place with this project thus far, and I'm quite excited to continue on. I hope I get to implement some of these strategies myself, one day!

#WhyIWrite Project