#WhyIWrite inspiration via a Genius Hour collaboration….

This week’s texts were not as explicitly “paired”.  The Fulkerson article presented an overview of influential writing theories and methodologies to emerge in the past few decades (i.e. critical/culture studies, expressionism, process & post process methodologies).  On the other hand, the Brannon & Knoblach’s article asked us to think further about the Student’s Right to Their Own Texts.  Still, Marissa’s presentation was effective in linking the efforts of these different researchers while prompting us to think about more current influences in writing pedagogy.  It should be noted that both articles are somewhat dated.  Despite this, the pairing of these two articles did capture the diversity of concerns for writing researchers in the 21st century.   imagesWhile Fulkerson approached his theoretical overview from the perspective of the college composition class, Brannon and Knoblach looked at writing from an earlier developmental lens.  Marissa’s three discussion prompts helped us find a bridge to these two readings:

#1. Do you think that Critical/Cultural Studies(CCS) classes are effective ways of teaching writing to students? Why, or why not?

#2. Discuss the differences between the dominant tradition of composition and current cultural studies/expressivism/CCS.

#3. Do you think that Brannon and Knoblauch’s model is realistically possible to apply in a traditional classroom setting? And if not overall, how could certain elements be utilized?
Some of us reflected on how we learned to write in classes wherein the instructional emphasis was placed on close reading and interpretation of text (a CCS model), rather than any formal writing instruction.  We also talked about how some learned to write with (or despite) a heavy emphasis on formulaic writing process orientation.  We also spoke of the importance of student’s ability to bring their own self-driven interest into their writing efforts (i.e student choice for topic).   We concluded that the writer seems to emerge in the interstices of all of these specific methodological approaches.  Each methodology might contribute to one part of an overall understanding of writing along the way, but it is the accumulation of a variety of learning approaches that ultimately supports the development of an evolved writer.  We also talked about the difference between adjusting to each new classroom expectation – sometimes done in the name of what the teacher is looking for (a limited experience) verses adjusting to a new writing methodology as a course of personal learning accumulation (perhaps a more cohesive developmental understanding of what can happen when a student is introduced to different approaches over the course of an academic career).  Thanks again everyone for another rich discussion.
In the second part of class you made some real progress on the identification of your final group project. After jotting down some ideas on the white board together, it seems you selected the notion of the genius hour as an anchor concept for your collaboration:

You will pair this passion project “infrastructure” with an umbrella question:  #WhyIWrite.  …..Why do you write? UnknownThursday October 20, 2016 is National Day on Writing, and the #WhyIWrite hashtag will certainly be “on fire”.  By building out your individual responses to this broader inquiry, you will each add a component to this special collaborative effort to answer this question.

For next week:

-Read Nancy Sommer’s Responding to Student Writing and Peter Elbow’s  Voice in Writing Again: Embracing Contraries.  Richonda will present her thoughts and prompt our discussion of these two works by seminal writing theorists.

-Blog your reflection on this week’s reading.  In addition, please include a short paragraph at the close of your blog which indicates your early thoughts on your own “passion project” in response to the prompt #WhyIWrite.

-Check out the #WhyIWrite hashtag on twitter since it will be full of inspiration, especially this week for National Day on Writing.

-Please tweet your early passion project ideas to both our #WritingTheory and the #WhyIWrite hashtag.

See you next week for further learning and brainstorming,

Dr. Zamora

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