Re: your mail

Subject: Re: your mail
From: Barb Philbrick <barb -dot- philbrick -at- PCOHIO -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 1994 12:52:00 -0500

RJ>> Are there teachers of tech wr out there, people interested in
RJ>> how-to and what and why of teaching people basic and advanced tech
RJ>> wr skills and strategies?
RJ>Yes, there are some of us on line who teach. Actually, I fit in both
RJ>worlds--teacher and writer. I would love to participate in
RJ>discussions of teaching stragegies.

When I teach, I encourage students to do revisions. I believe that they
will learn more by revising a paper than by just sticking in a folder
marked "Finished Homework" (or lining the bird cage with it), even if
all they do is change the suggestions I've marked.

This method works well. However, I've also tried doing in-class reviews,
where the class goes over two or three papers and critiques them. As you
might expect, I've run into problems:

1. My students (I'm typically teaching 2nd year community college
students) don't have the skills to critique.

2. Students are terrified to be "mean" because they know their turn is
coming. I try to make sure positive as well as negative things are
pointed out, but they're still shy about speaking up.

I'd like to continue using this method, because it provides some
benefits - students get to see how others handled the same topic; it
gives me a chance to point out specific errors in context; it breaks up
the class so it's not just lecture; it lets students get perspectives
other than the instructor's on their work; and it forces students that
don't do revisions to at least observe the revision process.

My question is - does anyone else use this method (I believe it's the
Clarion workshop method, although I learned it in a freelance writing
course)? If so, have you figured out a method for bringing people out?
Or have you discovered a method that provides some of the same benefits
without the uncomfortable aspects?



barb -dot- philbrick -at- pcohio -dot- com
~ CMPQwk 1.4 #9107 ~ TEAM EFFORT: a lot of people doing what _I_ say!

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