English 651

ENGL 651

Catalog Entry

ENG 651. Teaching Expository Writing
Credit Hours (3).

Prerequisite: Appointment as a Graduate Teaching Fellow in the English Department

Introduction to ideas about learning, composition and the process of writing; reading of selected texts on the theory and practice of teaching writing; survey of selected teaching strategies; preparation of course descriptions and syllabi; writing; and model teaching.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Readings in major texts on writing theory and pedagogy, learning and schooling, and the philosophy of teaching. Such texts might include the following: Nancie Atwell, In the Middle; Bartholomae and Petrosky, Facts, Counterfacts, Artifacts; Ann Berthoff, Reclaiming the Imagination; Peter Elbow, Writing with Power; Richard Graves, ed., Rhetoric and Composition; C. H. Knoblauch and Lil Brannon, Rhetorical Traditions and the Teaching of English; Suzanne Langer, Mind; Ken Macrorie, Telling Writing; Stephen North, The Making of Knowledge in Composition; Louise Wetherbee Phelps, Composition as a Human Science; Mike Rose, Lives on the Boundary; Mina Shaughnessy, Errors and Expectations; Lev Vygotsky, Thought and Language. Writing of various kinds for various audiences. Such writing might include the following: a journal, alone or in collaboration with others, reflecting on the course reading and/or on one's own teaching; a formal paper for teacher colleagues, exploring a topic of personal and professional significance in the teaching of writing; freshman English course descriptions and other materials for one's own future English 101 course; an autobiography of one's experience as a writer and/or student. Model teaching in a variety of forms. Such teaching might include the following: sample lessons for the class; group presentations; discussion of illustrative student papers.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course meets once a week for three hours. Its format is varied and may include the following: lecture and discussion led by instructor; student-led discussion of reading, teaching problems, sample student papers; small-group inquiry into particular questions of learning and teaching raised by the instructor, students, or the reading; in-class reading and writing; small-group discussion of drafts of student writing; individual or group presentations; public reading of finished writing. The course may also include individual and/or group conferences with the instructor.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

The primary goal of the course is to help graduate students who are teaching English 101 and 102 become more effective teachers of composition. To that end, students should acquire some knowledge of theoretical and practical perspectives on the teaching of expository writing; they should become familiar with recent literature in composition studies; and they should develop some facility in the fundamental activities of preparing to teach their own classes--selecting texts, planning classes, writing syllabi, etc.


Assessment Measures

Students demonstrate their growth in understanding the teaching of writing in the various activities of the course: class discussion, class presentations, individual conferences, and individual informal and formal writing. Full participation in all the activities of the course is expected, but the principal measure of student accomplishment is the extent to which the materials and activities of the course are linked by the student to his or her own experience as a student and a teacher.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

March 1999