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Course Description

COMPOSITION THEORY AND LITERACY STUDIES

ENGL 703 (E4M2A): Spring 2012
Mondays, 4:30-6:20, Klapper 708

Dr. Kevin L. Ferguson
Office: Klapper 711           
kferguson@qc.cuny.edu
Office Hours: Mondays, 3:00-4:00

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Most students in the process of earning an advanced degree in English are strong writers. But even the most skilled writer may be puzzled about how to teach others to write well. This course has three primary goals: 1) to reflect on our own writing practices in the context of literacy learning and teaching, 2) to investigate contemporary scholarship in composition and writing studies, and 3) to situate composition scholarship within the field of literacy studies. Students will be expected to examine the curricular, pedagogical, and theoretical contexts that shape teaching and learning as a way to begin developing their own composition pedagogies. The course focuses on both concrete teaching practices (course and assignment design, conferences and peer workshopping, feedback and evaluation) and larger theoretical issues (the circulation of literacy, formulaic writing, language standards, and technology). The course is designed as a seminar with substantial weekly reading, a shared class blog, and formal writing assignments.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES for students include:

  • to demonstrate familiarity with general theories of teaching writing, reading, and composition.
  • to apply those theories to aspects of their own teaching practice.
  • to have acquired a range of practical tools for the teaching of literacy, such as how to craft assignments, mark written assignments, and give students feedback.
  • to understand how to use digital technologies as pedagogical tools.
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