ENGL 5389 Seminar on Critical Reading, Writing, and Thinking Summer II 2008

Margaret Lowry

Tim Morris

9am-noon MTWRF 21 July through 7 August plus afternoon workshops 24, 28, 29 July and 5 August

office hours by appointment
Lowry 203E Carlisle Hall 817.272.2488
mlowry at uta dot edu
Morris 420 Carlisle Hall 817.272.0466
tmorris at uta dot edu

office mailbox 203 Carlisle Hall

mailing address Box 19035, UTA 76019

to the schedule of readings and assignments

link to the course packet

reading list

syllabus: This syllabus may be updated as the semester goes on. We may post updated versions that indicate readings, discussion plans, and reference materials. However, every component of your grade is shown here at the beginning. Please refer to the date and time of printing (at the bottom of each page) to see when the version you are holding was printed. For continuous updates look on line at http://www.uta.edu/english/tim/courses/5389su08/5389main.html

course description and student learning outcomes: This seminar investigates problems and approaches to teaching composition and reading to first-year college students. Readings concentrate on current theories of composition, reading, and critical thinking. Although the course is specifically oriented towards training new graduate teaching assistants at UTA, it is possible to adapt material to other courses and other levels of instruction. Students will learn how to/be able to:

Descriptions of Major Assignments with Due Dates:

I. Keep a resource notebook. You will need to respond to all 35 articles/essays from the on-line packet. You should also keep class notes, materials, and reflections in this notebook. Notebooks are DUE on 6 August. Incomplete notebooks will not receive full credit.

For the 35 articles/essays that appear in the packet, select 18 (one-half +1 of them) and write approx. page-long (DS) summaries-responses. Put the summary-responses in alphabetical order in the second section of your notebook and number them.
Summary-Response Guidelines: Be sure to have the following three parts in each of your summary-responses:

1. Summarize: In two or three sentences (a short paragraph—approx. 50 words), restate in your own words the main message or central point of the piece. You should focus on stating the gist of the reading, not the supporting evidence from the piece or details or your reaction to it.
2. Synthesize: In the next paragraph or two, weave together ideas/material from the reading with something else. That “something else” can be information/ideas from prior readings/class discussions or personal prior knowledge (especially try to draw on personal experience as a student or teacher). The goal here is to weave together ideas in a novel way that shows interesting new patterns by interpreting the readings through your own experience and/or seeing new relationships between those ideas and ideas presented in other works. Try applying the following rhetorical/analytical strategies to this task: compare and contrast ideas/experiences, extend or combine definitions from sources, apply examples or descriptions from one source to illuminate ideas expressed in another source, or link causes and effects presented in one source to explaining another source.
3. Apply: Try to think of a way that the reading might apply to or influence your own teaching practice: is this an idea to try (how so)? Or is this an idea to avoid (why)?

For the rest of the 35 essays not selected for “B” above, write “reading notes” in which you choose a quotation that you think captures the essence of the article. For each reading note, write a short explanation of why you think the quote represents the meaning of the article, and a few comments about its importance to you. Notes on each article should be about 1/3-1/2 pages long, DS. Place the “reading notes” in the third section of your notebook in alphabetical order and number them.

Include in the resource notebook one unit's worth of day-by-day lesson plans for your 1301 course, aligned with your syllabus (see II below). The workshop on 29 July will be a starting point for producing these lesson plans.

Other sections in your resource notebook should contain your own class notes, handouts, and a daily record of insights and observations from the class.

II. Develop a detailed syllabus and course calendar for ENGL 1301 and write an essay (2 pages DS) that explains your approach to teaching 1301. Think of this essay as a rationale for your syllabus. Incorporate explicit references to relevant course readings and to discussions and other class activities. DUE 1 August.

III. Write a 1301 "Literacy Autobiography" student essay (4-6 DS pages) by following a process that includes reading and analyzing texts and writing an essay in several drafts. DUE 4 August.

IV. Teach two 15-minute demonstration classes, one on reading (DUE 31 July) and one on writing (DUE 5 August).

V. Observe an ENGL 1301 class and write a brief (2 pages DS) report on the observation. DUE 7 August.

VI. Final project, DUE 7 August:
Consider the following questions throughout GTA Training, and write an essay (5-7 pages DS) that reflects on them. On 7 August, you will also give a five-minute presentation based on this final paper.

  1. Describe your own background, training, and experience in the teaching of composition.
  2. Why do you want to teach composition?
  3. What are your guiding goals, values, ideals or principles for teaching composition?
  4. What theoretical paradigms will inform your teaching? And why?
  5. What specific classroom practices or strategies do you plan to use?
  6. Describe some negative examples of teaching or teaching composition and explain what you plan to do differently.
  7. Describe some examples of teaching that you will emulate and explain why.
  8. Consider to what extent teaching is a matter of personality or persona or performance. Consider how you can most effectively play on your own personality to develop a successful teaching style.
  9. Consider how your gender, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, social class, disabled/nondisabled status and/or religion will affect your approach. Consider whether and how your politicized identity categories-whether normative or not-will affect your teaching.

grading: Your grade for the course will be based on your satisfactory completion of all six categories of major assignments (see descriptions & due dates above). The overall grade will be calculated on a 1000-point system as follows, with standard percentages applying (so that 900-1000 points is an A, 800-899 points is a B, and fewer than 800 points, for our purposes, is a failure of the course with loss of assistantship):

(I) resource notebook: 250 points
(II) course syllabus: 100 points
(III) Literacy Autobiography 1301 essay: 100 points
(IV) two teaching demonstrations: 150 points each (total = 300)
(V) observation of a 1301 class: 50 points
(VI) final project: 200 points

attendance policy: Regular and prompt attendance are indications of professionalism and reliability. Missing class and/or coming to class late will jeopardize your grade and your assistantship. No incompletes will be given.

drop policy: A grade of W may be assigned if a student chooses to withdraw from a class after Census date, but prior to the last date to drop posted in the University’s Academic Calendar. However, the grade of W is not automatically awarded. Graduate Students must consult with their Graduate Advisor before withdrawing from a class. Further, graduate students must secure the permission of their instructors and be passing the course (have a grade of A, B, C or P) at the time they intend to withdraw to receive a grade of W.

academic dishonesty policy: It is the philosophy of The University of Texas at Arlington that academic dishonesty is a completely unacceptable mode of conduct and will not be tolerated in any form. All persons involved in academic dishonesty will be disciplined in accordance with University regulations and procedures. Discipline may include suspension or expulsion from the University. "Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts." [Regents' Rules and Regulations, Part One, Chapter Vi, Section 3, Subsection 3.2, Subdivision 3.22]

disability policy: The University of Texas at Arlington is on record as being committed to both the spirit and letter of federal equal opportunity legislation; reference Public Law 93112--The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended. With the passage of new federal legislation entitled Americans with Disabilities Act - (ADA), pursuant to section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, there is renewed focus on providing this population with the same opportunities enjoyed by all citizens. As faculty members, we are required by law to provide "reasonable accommodation" to students with disabilities, so as not to discriminate on the basis of that disability. Student responsibility primarily rests with informing faculty at the beginning of the semester and in providing authorized documentation through designated administrative channels.

student success: The University of Texas at Arlington supports a variety of student success programs to help you connect with the University and achieve academic success. They include learning assistance, developmental education, advising and mentoring, admission and transition, and federally funded programs. Students requiring assistance academically, personally, or socially should contact the Office of Student Success Programs at 817-272-6107 for more information and appropriate referrals.

schedule of readings and assignments

All readings and assignments are DUE by the start of class on the date listed.

Monday, July 21 Welcome and introduction, preview assignments and course calendar, English department tour, Preston Hall "Smart Classrooms" tour, Writing Center tour.

Tuesday, July 22 What is composition? Assign syllabus and lesson planning. READINGS: Lindemann: Ch. 1-4, 15. Wilhoit: Ch. 1-2. Online Packet: Bartholomae, "Inventing the University"; Hairston, "The Winds of Change"; Fulkerson, "Composition at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century"; Bitzer, "The Rhetorical Situation"; George, "From Analysis to Design"; Horn & Trimbur, "English Only."

Wednesday, July 23 What is composition? (cont.) Overview of ENGL 1301 learning outcomes and assignments. READINGS: Lindemann: Ch. 5-6. Wilhoit: pp. 67-72. Online Packet: Berlin, "Rhetoric and Ideology in the Writing Class"; Ruszkiewicz, "Advocacy in the Writing Classroom"; Toner, "Implications of Discourse Ethics"; Freire, "The Banking Concept of Education"; Levy, "Cynicism, Social Epistemic, and the Institutional Context of College Composition."

Thursday, July 24 Reading processes. Assign literacy autobiography. READINGS: Online Packet: Birnbaum, "Reflective Thought"; Wilson and Anderson, "What They Don't Know Will Hurt Them"; Wood, "College Reading Instruction." The Blair Reader: pp. 1-9, Tan ("Mother Tongue"), Eighner, Douglass, Kozol, Rodriguez. Afternoon workshop (1:30-3:00 PM): Developing an ENGL 1301 syllabus.

Friday, July 25 Reading processes (cont.). Discuss OneBook unit. READINGS: Online packet: Lindemann, "No Place for Literature," Tate, "A Place for Literature," Gamer, "Fictionalizing the Disciplines." OneBook: Krauss, The History of Love

Monday, July 28 Writing processes. Drafts of literacy autobiography due. Workshop drafts in class. READINGS: Lindemann: Ch. 7-13 & 16. Wilhoit: Ch. 4 & 8. Online Packet: Emig, "Writing as a Mode of Learning"; Sommers, "Revision Strategies of Student Writers and Experienced Adult Writers." Afternoon workshop (1:30-3:00 PM): Using blogs in the composition classroom. Online gradebook.

Tuesday, July 29 Writing processes (cont.). Library workshops. READINGS: Wilhoit: Ch. 7. Online Packet: Wood, "Taking Essay Exams"; Bartholomae, "Writing with Teachers"; Elbow, "Being a Writer Vs. Being an Academic"; Bartholomae and Elbow, "Interchanges: Responses to Bartholomae and Elbow." Review Birkenstein and Graff, They Say/I Say and Hacker, A Writer's Reference. Afternoon workshop (1:30-3:00 PM): Designing and presenting mini-lessons on reading and writing.

Wednesday, July 30 Peer critiques and conferencing. Writing Center. READINGS: Wilhoit: Ch. 10. Online Packet: Murray, "The Listening Eye"; Harris, "Collaboration Is Not Collaboration Is Not Collaboration"; Householder, "ILPC: A Working Definition"; Rose, "Rigid Rules, Inflexible Plans, and the Stifling of Language"; Booth, "The Rhetorical Stance."

Thursday, July 31 Teaching Demonstrations: Reading.

Friday, August 1 Responding and Grading. Syllabus Due. READINGS: Lindemann: Ch. 14. Wilhoit: Ch. 5 and 6. Online Packet: Porter, "Pedagogy of Charity"; Bloom, "Why I Hate to Give Grades"; Sommers, "Responding to and Evaluating Student Writing"; Elbow, "Ranking, Evaluating, and Liking" and "Embracing Contraries in the Teaching Process."

Monday, August 4 Classroom management. Plagiarism. Disruptive students. Special populations. Literacy autobiography due. READINGS: Wilhoit: Ch. 9; Online Packet: Harris and Silva, "Tutoring ESL Students"; Rothgery, "'So What Do We Do Now?'"; Moss and Walters, "Rethinking Diversity"; "Feminist Symposium" readings (a separate subfolder in the online packet). Please review UTA's Judicial Affairs website (http://www.uta.edu/studentaffairs/judicialaffairs) and the WPA Statement on Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism (http://www.wpacouncil.org/positions/plagiarism.html).

Tuesday, August 5 Teaching Demonstrations: Writing Afternoon workshop (1:30-3:00 PM): Addressing the needs of ESL students.

Wednesday, August 6 Senior GTA panel. Process notebooks due.

Thursday, August 7 Final Presentations. Final Project due. Class observation due.

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