Not the cool kid

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

I have to admit that I like expressivist pedagogy in the writing classroom. Expressive writing was how I started to learn good writing and I always use this pedagogy in my classroom, despite how unpopular it may be. Expressive writing is what made me feel more comfortable as a writer. And later, I learned the more technical aspects. I obviously turned out all right. And though I don’t think expressive pedagogy should rule the concept of the classroom, I do think having it as a part of the learning and writing process is beneficial. I usually incorporate it as freewrites, journals (which I don’t use much, if at all, anymore, but might someday again. I used a blog once and that became more trouble than was worth) and responses/reactions to the readings.

I have a theory that using literature and other forms of art in the classroom may improve how students approach the ever-troublesome task of integrating knowledge and ideas. Why do I think this? One, art does this all the time. If I point this out to students in a way they understand, and then approach that same idea in the writing of genres, I think good things will happen. But again, I know this may fall into the category of “unpopular ideas.”

I also want to experiment with music and poetry in the writing classroom. As technology proliferates, it will become more and more important for people in the “real world” to be creative thinkers as well as good technical communicators. This, of course, has already taken place with such happenings as MFA graduates taking jobs MBA graduates normally took because MFA degree holders have those creative skills paired with good communication skills. I feel poetry and music will aid me to better instruct creativity within the present tightly wound writing classroom. We’ll see. (I am planning to take this idea and present it at an upcoming conference.)

Can you tell I will never be with the cool kids who embrace whatever is popular in writing studies at the moment?

Also, I have a four day weekend this weekend. Strange, but wonderful and strange. I hope to get a lot of reading and writing done, of course. And some lesson planning.


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