Friday, April 26, 2013

ENGL 531 - Teacher as Writer

Have you been hoping to find time to write—projects that you want to begin or finish? A summer, two-week course might be the answer!

One of the principles of the National Writing Project, the most ubiquitous and historically effective professional development model for teachers, is: “Knowledge about the teaching of writing comes from many sources: theory and research, the analysis of practice, and the experience of writing.” This class will provide you the opportunity to engage in all three practices, particularly the last one. Through working as writers, including sharing and responding to each other’s writing, you will develop insights and theoretical frameworks toward pedagogy that positions students as writers.
A second principle of NWP states, “Writing can and should be taught, not just assigned,” and that teachers can work together to examine how writers develop across grade levels and subject areas. As a community of writers and teachers, we will discuss how students can learn to engage in practices, struggles and opportunities of writers, and how teachers can serve as models. For example, by engaging as writers, teachers are more prepared to position students as writers and guide or coach them (the metaphor is important), constructing practices and discourse that initiate and reflect a community of writers.

Through “reflective and informed community of practice,” a third NWP principle, teachers equip themselves to “design and develop comprehensive writing programs.” Therefore, in this two-week intensive course, we will engage in discourse and practices of a community of writers, including selecting topics and genres for particular purposes and audiences; and we will explore how these practices inform our pedagogy.

Finally, some of you may elect to enroll in the course for the purpose of working on particular projects. The class offers you the time and flexibility of continuing to build on those manuscripts while learning how to integrate your experiences as writers with those of your students, or future students. You will be encouraged to read brief selections by other writers, mainly for the purpose of supporting your work as a writer or teacher.

Eastern Michigan University
ENGL 531 – Teacher as Writer
June 24 – July 5, 2013
Student Center
9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Professor W. Douglas Baker

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