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Monthly Archives: September 2016

Are We Still Living in a “Tidy House”?

The following post originally appeared on Balancing Jane as part of the Blogging to My PhD series and is being crossposted here.  Today I'm reading a couple of landmark essays on developmental writing by David Bartholomae: "Inventing the University" and "The Tidy House." It's the latter that's really resonating with me and my work as a developmental writing instructor working decades after he published these words: "Basic writing has begun to seem like something naturally, inevitably, transparently there in the curriculum, in the stories we tell ourselves about English in America. It was once a provisional, contested term, marking an uneasy accommodation between the institution and its desires and a student body that did not or would not fit. I think it should continue to mark an area of contest, of struggle, including a struggle against its stability or inevitability. Let me put this more strongly. I think basic writing programs have become expressions of our desire to produce basic writers, to maintain the course,…

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Readings for a New Semester (Part 3 of 3) or, Links Roundup

This is the final post in this 3-part series. Click to read Part 1 and Part 2. This isn't a single reading, so much as a link round up. And it isn't a link round up so much as a website roundup. I'm linking to the home pages of websites where I've found journalistic pieces and/or personal reflections with insight, research, and experience. Digital Pedagogy Lab's Journal, Hybrid Pedagogy. Cultural Anthropology HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) The Writing Campus  Profology Blogs Ok, this last one is an article link: How One Professor Makes Her Own Free Open Textbook.        

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Do I Need to “Get Real” About My Teaching Goals?

The following post originally appeared on Balancing Jane as part of the Blogging to My PhD series and is being crossposted here. I've managed to fall down a research rabbit hole and have spent the past few days wading through a decades-old (or, depending on how you want to tilt your perspective, millennia-old) debate. This particular iteration of the debate took place when Min-Zhan Lu published a 1992 article titled "Conflict and Struggle: The Enemies or Preconditions of Basic Writing? In it, Lu makes an argument very similar to the one that I'm using at the core of my dissertation: students labeled "remedial" are particularly positioned at a place of conflict in the academy, and a pedagogy that accepts (and even seeks) that conflict will serve them better than one that attempts to ignore or mitigate it. In making that argument, Lu angered several of her contemporary colleagues in basic writing. This entire conversation is absolutely fascinating to me, but I wanted to pull out one…

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Wikipedia’s Status in the Writing Classroom

When I was a kid, a man showed up at my door selling a set of encyclopedias. I lived on a gravel road in rural Missouri. We had to drive to get our mail, and the nearest gas station was almost ten miles away. Though the town I lived in had a library, I never visited it when I was little because I went to…

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Readings for a New Semester (Part 2 of 3)

  This is Part 2 of a 3-part series. See Part 1 on reading full-length texts here. Image courtesy of Jain Basil Aliyas     This series began with a post about the importance of reading full-length texts. In addition to these--the primary course reading for the semester--most of our assignments on DevelopingWriters.net include supplementary readings and videos, which try to capture the complex issues of our books in current…

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