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Gaining momentum….

MomentumI think there is some momentum building now for our class as a whole.  It was wonderful to start our discussion this week with some reflective freewriting while connecting with our own memories of how we learned to write, as well as how we were taught to write.  I think this is an important reference point to keep in mind as we embark on the journey of considering theory & practice today (and how an understanding of writing has indeed evolved).  I am also pleased that we had a chance to apprehend the formal field of Rhetoric & Composition in order to understand our own place in an ever growing field.   Some key issues that reverberate for me based on our shared reading of Lauer’s ‘Rhetoric & Composition”:

-The complex relationship between reading & writing (?);

-The fact that in the past rhetoric and reasoning functioned at the center of civic culture (Consider the peril of our working democracy today….what role does reasoning play in civic discourse?);

-Does writing construct or merely transmit knowledge?;

-Is writing social or individual?;

-The disciplinary politics of writing – how writing is often understood as a teaching practice verses a research pursuit.

imagesI have shared our notes from class on this site under the “Shared Resources and Collaborative Docs” page.

What is up for next week?

-Andaiye will take over the first half of our class time with her  presentation and review of  1.  Jaxon, Kim. “One Approach to Guiding Peer Response.” National Writing Project. March 26, 2009. (web).  2.  Reflection in the Writing Classroom by Kathleen Blake Yancey.

-For your blog posts for next Monday, please write a response/reflection to those readings.

-Please remember to tweet if you feel inspired.  Our class hashtag is #WritingTheory

-In the second half of class, we will will start to open up an initial discussion of what is possible for your shared project.  We will both reflect together and brainstorm early possibilities.  As we consider the gap between writing theory and writing practice throughout our semester, you should continue to fine tune your collective learning intentions and identify your preferred learning outcomes.  Of course, theory is only at it’s best when it is realized in transformative practice.  I hope we can keep our collective eye on this ball.

See you next week,

Dr. Zamora

As we get underway….

imagesIt was a pleasure to connect with all of you  last night, and to have the opportunity to hear a bit about each of you.  I am confident that together we are a diverse group of thoughtful writers, and that collectively we will have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with each other.

I am looking forward to our class next week already.  On the agenda:  -We will discuss our first reading (Janice M. Lauer’s “Rhetoric and Composition”and do a bit of collaborative writing as well.  -We will work together on matching each discussion leader to some of the selected readings.  (Please come with a selection of two readings as a “first choice pairing” and also a selection of two readings as a “second choice pairing”.  -We will also settle our course calendar.  (Please pick out a date or two on the calendar that might work out for you).

images-23Please remember to forward to me your url for your course blogs as well as your twitter handle.  Each of your sites will be “fed” into this course site.  When you post your first blog for the course next week, you will see it appear under our “student blogs” section shortly thereafter (like magic ;).  Make it a habit to tweet your blog post each week to our class hashtag – #WritingTheory.  Over the course of our semester together we can develop a rich backchannel discussion on twitter which will extend our on-going conversation while opening it up to those who might be interested in similar matters re: writing theory and writing practice.  And also, please remember that for each class meeting you should develop the habit of reading through your colleagues blog posts as you prep for class.  It shouldn’t take too much time, but it will no doubt enhance our discussions and our overall class reflection.  I hope that some of the insights that you share in your blog posts end up becoming significant “entry points” for our in-person discussions.

Looking forward to this semester with all of you.  See you next week.


Dr. Zamora


Welcome to Writing Theory & Practice

images-11Finally we will meet for the first time.  I have been looking forward to meeting all of you and getting this course underway for sometime.  I know it will serve as a foundation for many of you as you carry on your academic journey in Writing Studies.   And perhaps more importantly, this class experience will expand your reflections as you continue your exploration as a writer.

This course will be an open (online), connected (networked), co-learning (participatory) experience.  One factor that often leads to boredom and lack of energy in the traditional classroom is the way that learning is perceived as a passive activity—a thing that happens to students. What you learn and how you learn it is decided by someone else, without considering what you care about, what you know already, or what you want to learn.  Part of the idea of an open class comes from giving you the opportunity to influence the course.  As we build a foundation for Writing Theory & Practice, I want to place value in the interests and ambitions that each of you bring to this course.   What do you want to learn during out time together?  What do you want to make during our time together?  Please remember to bring these key questions to our shared time together.

Through discussion and negotiation we will identify shared purpose and a mutually beneficial learning agenda, we will compose many collaborative documents, and we will embrace peer-to-peer cooperation and learning.  During our first meeting we will meet and get to know each other a bit, and we will discuss why we have all chosen to converge for this experience.  I sincerely look forward to this extended consideration of what we call writing.  I know that through our collaboration we will lay foundations of knowledge which will no doubt influence your future practice. storytelling


See you soon,

Dr. Mia Zamora