Composing Honors Students. Carol Denise Bork Barbara Hamilton American Honors Conference Denver, CO July 26, 2014. WhO are we?. Barbara Hamilton Ph.D. Comparative Literature, Rutgers Former Coordinator, Rutgers Writing Program - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
Carol Denise Bork Barbara HamiltonAmerican Honors Conference Denver, COJuly 26, 2014
COMPOSING HONORS STUDENTS
Carol Denise Bork Ph. D. English, Rutgers Former Coordinator,
Rutgers Writing Program Founding Coordinator,
Mercer Honors Program Mercer Prof. of English -- courses: Composition, Intro to the Novel, Women in Literature
Barbara Hamilton Ph.D. Comparative
Literature, Rutgers Former Coordinator,
Rutgers Writing Program Mercer Asst. Prof. of
English — courses: Composition, Intro. to Drama, World Literature I and II
WHO ARE WE?
IN 10 SECONDS,WHO ARE YOU?
- NAME- WHERE YOU TEACH- WHAT YOU TEACH (OR WHAT YOU DO)
HISTORY OF MERCER HONORS
What we have done and the basics of how we do it
EXERCISE 1: START BY DOING (NOT LISTENING)
WHAT OUR STUDENTS EXPECT FROM US:
Strategic help in achieving what they need to move on
How might they differ from traditional community college students?
In general, they have had some measure of success in high
school Englisha supportive relationship with a
former instructor they feel close to.
WHAT ARE YOUR STUDENTS LIKE?
The Big Talker --- opinionated but text - averse
The Anxious Perfectionist
may hand in work late (or not at all)
The Free Spirit
Praised fororiginality anduniqueness
may balk at revision or challenge
The A-or-Nothing Type: prioritizes point values and grades over course content
SOME TYPICAL PERSONALITIES
Our students: know what has worked well for them in the
past,assume that we will enable them to succeed
in the same way they are accustomed to, often anticipate a close working relationship
with us,and can’t really imagine how college-level
work differs from high school work.
Our challenge: getting them to construct knowledge by talking to each other rather than just listening to or talking to us.
WHAT WE EXPECT OF OUR STUDENTS --
Entry into the messy, exhilarating, and fundamentally necessary world of intellectual engagement, public discourse, and social action
OUR APPROACH Supportive Disruption
“He had this teacher’s gift, the ability to find the edge of a student’s capacity, and to wait there for him to leap.”
~ Kenji Yoshino, Covering
YOSHINO, KENJI. COVERING: THE HIDDEN ASSAULT ON OUR CIVIL RIGHTS. NY: RANDOM HOUSE, 2007.
FACILITATING THE DISRUPTION: THE “INSIDE-OUT WRITING PROCESS”
(Not having a thesis is diffi cult for students used to formulaic writing.)
(They resist work with a minimal point value until they see the strategic benefi t for their fi nal drafts.)
“INSIDE-OUT WRITING” =
- WRITING WITHOUT A THESIS
- MINING THE TEXT — LOW-STAKES BUT INTENSIVE “DISCOVERY WORK”
- CHALLENGING RATHER THAN SIMPLY PRAISING = ALWAYS RAISING THE BAR
- DELAYING RETURN OF ONE ESSAY UNTIL THEY HAVE DRAFTED ANOTHER
(This is unsettling for those who need the comfort of faculty validation and attention to their ideas.)
CIRCUMVENTING THE PRIZE STUDENT – BELOVED TEACHER PARADIGM =
- REDIRECTING THE CONVERSATION AND QUESTIONS TO OTHER STUDENTS
- ENCOURAGING GROUP WORK AND
COLLABORATION (FLIPPED CLASSES)
- SETTING UP REVOLVING STUDENT DISCUSSION LEADERSHIP
- MANDATING DIRECTED PEER REVIEW AND POST-DRAFT REVISION
PROVIDING THE SUPPORT
1. BUILDING AN HONORS
STUDENTS SUPPORTING EACH
Seminar-style classrooms and small class size,
Changing student groups for draft workshops and discussion-leading so that all voices contribute,
Multi-section conversations and draft workshops,
Cross-section discussion forums,
Honors social media networking,Dedicated Honors study/lounge
How do you encourage students to work together and form a community?
(but not in the way they expect)
2. FACULTY SUPPORT AND
ENCOURAGEMENT FOR HONORS
BEING THERE IN EVERY WAY
Paying attention: listening, remembering details and using them,
Building student input into the course,
Choosing “whole text” readings so that students spend time with writers and watch how their ideas develop,
Modeling connections: circling back to previous ideas and other courses,
What works for you?
Responding quickly to emails and requests; encouraging offi ce visits,
Commenting carefully on oral and written work to point out the promising and encourage development,
Treating them as less-experienced colleagues and fellow scholars,
Trusting them to think for themselves.
How would you comment on these two passages to both disrupt unhelpful norms and support students in revision?