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What can we do to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for our students? How can we connect writing and reading instruction with our students’ concerns? The following reading lists offer links to short takes on a variety of topics that cover issues such as course design; pedagogical terms and frameworks; racial, linguistic, and cultural identity; and suggested readings for course syllabi. The heading for each list is briefly annotated.
Photo: My cat Destiny, in search of a good read.
Transitions to College
As students transition to post-secondary education, they face new academic and social situations that present challenges, but also offer opportunities for growth as writers. Whether students transition directly from high school or military service, or are returning to college after a hiatus of many years, the sources in this first list focus on creating equitable classrooms for first-year students from a variety of backgrounds. The final item on the list shows the results from a recent survey on the expectations of high school teachers, college instructors, and employers in core content areas, including writing. The differing results offer a starting point for discussion about the purposes of post-secondary writing courses, as well as the needs and expectations of recent high school graduates attending college for the first time.
- Five Principles for Enacting Equity by Design
- Teaching First-Year Students
- ACT National Curriculum Survey 2016
These sources offer lucid and succinct explanations of terms and frameworks that are frequently presented as keywords in post-secondary writing courses. The first two links are comprised of goals crafted by national organizations that shape our field. These lists can be shared with colleagues interested in national standards for first-year writing programs, which can and should include Basic Writing in their scope. The last two links offer a brief introduction to rhetorical concepts, and a revised version of Bloom’s Taxonomy.
- WPA Outcomes Statement for First-Year Composition (2014)
- Framework for Success in Post-Secondary Writing
- Rhetorical Concepts
- Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy
Moving Beyond Self/Other
Many of us teach in communities that are new to us, or work with students whose points of view and learning needs initially seem far removed from our own. At the same time, we can create a classroom environment that offers respect for all students and gives them opportunities to grow as writers. The links on this list offer suggestions.
- Teaching in Racially Diverse Classrooms
- Strategies of Inclusion for the Contemporary Classroom: Gender Issues
- Teaching Students with Disabilities
- LGBTQIA Ally Tips
- Promising Practices for Student Veterans in College Writing Classrooms
Addressing Racial, Linguistic, and Cultural Identities
Students claim identities from many intersecting racial, linguistic, and cultural contexts. Although students should not be required to represent their particular identity groups, we as teachers can benefit from learning more about how and why students’ perspectives may have been shaped in previous schooling and in experiences beyond our classrooms. The readings in this section come from a variety of academic sources and can help to inform our understandings of the world in which all of us live.
- How College-Bound Students of Color Should Prepare for Life on a Predominantly White Campus
- NCTE Statement Affirming #BlackLivesMatter
- Strategies for Teaching Native Americans
- CCCC Statement on Second Language Writing and Writers
- Addressing Islamophobia on College Campuses
Course Planning: Recent Readings on Contemporary Issues
In the last several years, local, national, and global catastrophes have disrupted our lives, whether directly or indirectly. Educators have compiled a series of syllabi with books, articles, films, and other multimedia that address four of these traumatic events. These syllabi were published on the web in response to killings of people of color and LGBTQ people in the United States in the cities of Ferguson (2014), Baltimore (2015), Charleston (2015), and Orlando (2016). Individually and collectively, the syllabi offer readings and approaches that inspire a wide variety of writing topics, which may, in turn appeal directly to students contemporary concerns and interests.
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