WAC in the Classroom. Strategies for incorporating WAC pedagogies into YOUR class!. The WAC philosophy is applicable to courses in disciplines throughout the university. The main tenets of WAC are:.
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Strategies for incorporating WAC pedagogies into YOUR class!
• Writing is the responsibility of the entire academic community• Writing must be integrated across departmental boundaries• Writing instruction must be continuous during all four years of undergraduate education• Writing promotes learning and only by practicing the conventions of an academic discipline will students begin to communication effectively within that discipline
The teaching of writing is not just the job of “writing teachers.” Part of WAC’s mission is to reinforce the value of writing in and to all disciplines.
The Colorado School of Mines WAC website answers many questions that faculty consider when presented with a WAC pedagogical model, most notably:
"Isn’t teaching writing the job of the high schools and first-year composition courses? Why is this being pushed over on us?”"These students today! I tell ya, they just can't write! Where do I begin?”http://www.mines.edu/academic/lais/wc/wac-FAQ.html
Professor Julianne Newmark“Writing Across Communities: Community Safety and Health”Welcome to English 111. Our course will be designed around various concepts of “community”– this can mean the community from which you come, the community to which you aspire to belong professionally, or the community of which you are currently a member, the university community. We will be “Writing Across Communities” in our course this semester, and I will ask you to draw upon the writing experiences you have had already to help you to enter new community discussions. One of the most important communities we will discuss this term will be the community of our classroom. We will examine the ways in which our community of students engages with itself and with the outside world, at various removes. How do you all – as students – interact with the larger university and its various academic departments, with the city of Socorro, with New Mexico as a state, with our nation, and with our world? We will bring all of these various communities into conversation through the texts that you read and, more importantly, that you create this semester. How do we express community through writing? How do we create community through writing?
Key community-building aspects of my course:• Group discussion• Non-graded expository exercises• Peer review exercises• Writing in various genres
Like a scaffold, each part of this project builds upon the previous part. Some professors might incorporate this scaffolding scheme over the course of an entire semester. I chose to utilize this model over five weeks.
With creative and innovative assignments, a WAC model of involving writing across disciplinary communities and in individual courses allows writing to “complement--rather than hinder--course goals,” as the Campus Writing Program at CSM succinctly states.
WAC at UNM is dedicated to “bridging boundaries” and enabling students to communicate across and from various kinds of communities through writing.Within your disciplinary community, how might you incorporate writing in your classroom?
Consider these questions:1. How do you -- or do you -- use writing in your class?2. How could you apply some of the tenets of the WAC philosophy (as demonstrated by my class’s scaffolding exercise) to your class?3. What benefits can you envision from applying WAC to your class? What challenges do you envision?