All posts tagged: Pedagogy

Why We Need Diverse Syllabi

Image: John Nakamura Remy In the second year of my M.A. program, I’ve had the opportunity to teach my own introductory fiction course to undergraduate students. Creative Writing courses tend to draw a diverse group of students, especially because my intro course fulfills a general education requirement. I have students from all different disciplines, not just English— biology, engineering, poli-sci, agriculture, you name it. My students also range from freshman to so-called “super seniors.” Moreover, the UC Davis student population is racially diverse (only 26% of the freshman class of 2016 was white), and my classroom reflects the wider demographics of the school. With that in mind, I’ve needed to craft a syllabus that will both fit my students’ needs and fulfill my learning objectives. To do this, I’ve made a concerted effort to focus on readings by writers of color and women on my syllabus. In my course, my students read Junot Diaz’s story “How to Date A Brown Girl (Black Girl, White Girl, or Halfie)” to discuss 2nd person point of view. They …

November

This month I finished my pedagogy course. As I’ve stated previously, we began this class online over the summer so that we’d be better grounded in our teaching when we began. Once we got here, we continued meeting weekly for 1 ½ hours (rather than the standard 3 hours). Each class opened with a discussion of how our teaching was going, what was working and what wasn’t, and we were able to give each other feedback and advice. Then we would discuss our week’s readings and explore how they applied to the classroom. The class is taught by Sarah Stanley, who oversees writing instruction at Alaska-Fairbanks. She is brilliant when it comes to rhetoric and theory, and is incredibly supportive in our teaching efforts. Her assignments are well suited to professional development. For instance, our final project was a roundtable discussion open to the public on the various ideas we studied over the course of the semester. My group discussed the relationship between the composition classroom and the notion of global citizenship, while the other …