|Dr. Richard Parent
Office: 435 Old Mill
REParent *at* uvm *dot* edu
Office Hrs: T/R 1-2:15pm
And by arrangement
Required Texts & Materials:
- Essays and Explorations: An English 1 Anthology (3rd Edition)
- A journal of some sort (digital, paper, etc.)
- A thumb/USB drive (any size should be fine)
- A folder or 3-ring binder for your collected work in this course
This seminar is designed to do multiple things, but two in particular: 1) to provide you with guidance and support as you begin teaching English 001 at UVM, and 2) to give you a sense of the questions and approaches that have characterized and directed the theories and pedagogies of teaching college-level composition.
Either of these goals could be the exclusive topic of a very full (and very productive) seminar, but we don’t have that luxury. Addressing both will demand of us a flexibility and sort of improvisational approach that may seem unorthodox at first, but which will ultimately allow us the best potential for growth and learning.
Teaching Journal: We’ll be engaging in an activity described by Kathleen O’Shaughnessy in her article “Writing A Bicycle” (The Quarterly 26.3, National Writing Project, 2004). She writes:
Try writing in a classroom journal [. . .] but don’t attempt to identify big problems or to find solutions. Simply record moments from your days with no evaluation or interpretation of the event’s importance. Often the events that capture my attention mean nothing in particular at the moment; my journal entries are just verbal snapshots, what Tom Romano calls “rendering experience.” Include as much actual dialogue from an event as you can recall and fill in the rest with reasonable facsimiles. (np)
At the two points in the semester that portfolios are due, we’ll reflect on the journal entries up to that point, and you will turn in your journal and reflection. If you’ve been journaling and you attempt the reflections, you’ll get full credit. It’s that simple.
Explorations: As with your English 001 sections, we’ll be doing a lot of exploratory, preparatory, brainstormy writing in this course. Some of the Explorations will focus attention on course readings, others will be more directly connected to the Projects you will compose. Some Explorations will be completed in-class, others will be due either at the start of class, or possibly by 10am the morning of our class day. I will give you plenty of warning, and will post the topic/prompt for those Explorations that will be due before class.
Observation Reports: Over the course of the semester you will be required to observe two class meetings taught by your classmates. You may choose to observe two class meetings taught by one classmate, or two meetings taught by different classmates. The choice is yours, though I think you will find observing two different teachers more beneficial. You will write up your observation of each of those two class meetings, noting what happened in the class, and what you noticed about the teaching and student responses. Finally, reflect upon your experiences and what lessons they offer for your own teaching. The first Observation Report will be part of your Midterm Portfolio, so you’ll need to begin organizing this soon.
Workshop Demonstration: Each of you will be required to lead a workshop of one or more sample papers I will provide you. In your workshop demonstration, your classmates and I will take the role of the students in your course. You are free to run the workshop as you see fit, but you must engage with the writing and revision of one or more of the sample essays. I encourage you to be creative in your approach to the workshop – use this time as a practice or warm-up for a workshop activity you would like to try in your English 001 course. After your workshop demonstration, you will have one week to draft a 3-5 page, double-spaced, evaluation/analysis of your demonstration. You may summarize (briefly!) the activities in your demonstration, but the majority of your analysis should be an analysis of what cognitive skills and/or awarenesses you attempted to instill in us, how you attempted that, the relative degree of success and failure in your attempt, why you think the demonstration succeeded and failed as it did, and what you plan to do differently next time you perform this workshop.
Projects: In all of our sections of English 001, we’ll be asking our students to compose five Projects of varying lengths, employing different rhetorical tools, and attempting to accomplish assorted rhetorical goals. To help you prepare to teach these Projects, you were asked to begin Project 1 in the weeklong pre-semester orientation workshop. This work will be continued in our course, and will be included in your midterm portfolio. Project 2 asks students to compose a rhetorical analysis, a task with which many students will have little to no familiarity. For this course, you will also compose a rhetorical analysis, working through the Project’s cognitive and compositional steps yourselves.
Your final Project is a Research Project, similar to Project 3 in the common assignment sequence. The topic of your research Project will be a question, approach, or problem that has arisen in your teaching, and to which you feel particularly connected, or possibly vexed. On September 30th we will meet with Reference Librarian Pat Mardeusz, to discuss research tools and resources for composition and education scholarship. (For this meeting, you will need to have selected your research topic or question.) After our meeting with Pat, we will conference individually to discuss your Project and develop a research plan. You will then research approaches and solutions for your Project, and evaluate your findings in terms of their applicability to your particular teaching situation. Your Research Project should have two main components: 1) a review of the literature describing the major works on your topic; 2) an exploration, and possibly an evaluation, of the suitability and applicability to your classroom and developing teaching style and approach of the major proposals in your lit review. These two components may be structured in any way you think effective. (The alert reader will note the similarity to the “they say/I say” template we will discuss on September 2nd.) Your Research Project should be 7-10 pages long, double-spaced.
- Midterm Portfolio (due 10/7/10): 40%
- Final Portfolio (due 12/9/10): 50%
- Class Participation/Attendance: 10%
Two Important Notes:
If observation of a religious holiday means you’ll miss a class, talk with me beforehand so we can work out alternative plans to keep you up to date.
If you have (or suspect that you may have) a disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation, I encourage you to contact both myself and UVM’s Office of Accommodation, Consultation, Collaboration & Educational Support Services (ACCESS), A-170 Living & Learning Center, 656-7753 (www.uvm.edu/~access) as early as possible in the term. The ACCESS Office will verify your disability and determine reasonable accommodation for this course.
The detailed Course Calendar lists all assignments and readings. This page is designed to be a quick reference for you.
- August 31 First day of class
Bring to class Project 1 (revised into “final” form)
- September 2 READ – Gerald Graff & Cathy Birkenstein: “Preface & Introduction” (They Say/I Say)
READ – Myka Vielstimmig: “Petals on a Wet Black Bough” (Passions, Pedagogies, and 21st Century
- September 16 Project #2 Due
- September 30 Library Day – Meet in Library
- October 5 & 12 Research Project Conference Days
- October 7 Midterm Portfolio Due
- November 4 Research Project Draft 1 Due
- November 23-25 Thanksgiving Recess
- December 9 Final Portfolio Due
- December 14 12-4:30pm Final Portfolios Returned (429 Old Mill)
- Oct. 14 Open topic
- Oct. 19 Open topic
- Oct. 26 Using Digital Tools
- Nov. 2 Open topic
- Nov. 11 Radical Revision
- Nov. 16 Polish/Final Considerations
- Nov. 30 The Common Sequence