Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Knowing, Doing and Writing

In the Michael Carter essay, what made the most impact on you? What did you find most significant? Why? How did the passages from the reading help inform your participation in the Summer Institute?

Writing as a way of knowing, despite its integral role in student learning, is not effectively used across disciplines. My take of this is that faculty across disciplines assumes that some other faculty teaches students how to write and how to use writing as a learning tool; everybody wants to use or uses writing in their class but nobody takes responsibility for teaching it. The end result is that students struggle with writing assignments and faculty are frustrated having to grade assignments that don’t meet learning expectations.

Writing is versatile. Similar writing approaches can be effectively used across disciplines to promote learning. The topics covered in each discipline may change but construction of arguments is similar. This is true for disciplines that use empirical, problem solving or research form sources methods of inquiry.

Effective learning through writing should incorporate different methods of inquiry. Each method of inquiry utilizes different tools for generating knowledge. Is exposing students to different methods of “doing” that allows them to acquire knowledge. And while each discipline may have their preferred method of inquiry, students may benefit the most form learning the advantages and disadvantages of each learning method.

Reflections on Michael Carter's Ways of Knowing, Doing, and Writing in the Disciplines (2007, National Council of Teachers of English)

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