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Writing Across the Curriculum

ESC 429: Language, Literacy, Technology
Writing in the Majors Guidelines
Professor David Hyman

Role of Writing

The general aim of the writing-intensive sections of ESC 429 is to engage undergraduates in writing as a form of professional practice and scholarly inquiry. In order to achieve this level of engagement, students need to write frequently throughout the term within the discursive frameworks of multiple genres and audiences. Students need to be given ample opportunity as individuals and as a community to discuss the work they are doing as writers in order to reflect on and improve their work as writers and prospective teachers. Therefore, students will have multiple writing tasks both in class and for homework every week.

Disciplinary Writing

In this course students will gain facility with the following genres or types of writing:

  • Writing as part of the daily practice of teaching
    • Prospective teachers need to learn how to compose curricula, activities, and assignments. Writing-intensive sections strive to contextualize these writing genres within the rhetorical strategy of audience awareness: How does an awareness of audience impact textual production? Teachers compose learning activities for audiences of other teachers, administrators, parents, and students, to name a few reading communities.
    • Teachers also write a great deal in response to student work. Among the genres in this category are rubrics, grades, report cards and other evaluations, comments on student assignments, and letters. As above, awareness of purpose and audience play key roles in the composing processes for these genres.
  • Writing as scholarly practice/reflective inquiry
    • Types of research: case studies, articles, reflective inquiry, classroom observation, responses to published scholarship.
    • Teacher self-assessment: journals, e-portfolios, statements of pedagogy.
    • Writing about and through new technologies: participation in professional on-line networks via blogs and discussion forums; consideration of the role of social networks in education.
  • Writing as Community
    • Discussion posts on Blackboard.
    • In-class, low-stakes, writing-to-learn activities.

Expectations of Students in a WIM Course

In this course students will:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of audience for each writing assignment.
  • Articulate expectations for their own future students in the writing activities that are designed for use in middle and high school classrooms.
  • Engage in various activities that address different stages of the writing process (brainstorming, revision, peer- and instructor- feedback).
  • Use the fieldwork requirement to document the types of activities/writing going on in the classrooms being observed.
  • Submit multiple drafts of at least one key high-stakes assignment during the semester. Each draft should show evidence of thoughtful revision based on the professor’s comments and on the student’s reflections.
  • Submit final drafts of high-stakes assignments that have been proofread and corrected.
  • Demonstrate a good-faith effort to complete writing assignments on time.

Expectations of Faculty in a WIM Course   

In this course, the professor will:

  • Provide students with opportunities to write for different audiences and different purposes.
  • Connect activities/assignments to course goals and expectations. 
  • Respond to student writing promptly.
  • Design writing activities that provide opportunities and support for student revision.
  • Devote time in class to working on writing projects.

Criteria for Assessing Student Writing

Since developing assessment criteria is a significant element of teacher preparation, this course will introduce, develop, and model several forms of summative and formative assessment strategies. These strategies will be clustered under the three different modes of assessment outlined in Daniels and Zemelman’s (1988) A Community of Writers: Response, Evaluation, and Grading.