WID 2021 Spring Institute Brainstorming Place

Ideas from Nov. 16 meeting: We did a poll of all the topics we’ve covered this semester, and these came out as the top three we wanted to possibly explore for the Spring Institute: Grading Active Learning & Critical Thinking Genre So, we’re thinking of possibly doing a combination of all 3 of those.  Some […]

Week 10: Igniting an interest and a sense of meaning for research

  I signed up to write the blog for this week’s readings because of my passion for research.  As a geographer with a focus on Latin America, I associate research with an exciting process of knowledge generation that has allowed me to explore issues such as indigenous movements, community-based environmental decision making, and most recently campus sustainability.  Through participatory methodologies, I have shared and constructed knowledge […]

Week 6 A Genre-Based Approach to Writing Instruction


My thoughts so far-


Thinking about the variety of approaches in writing that we are exploring this week, I feel moved to talk about happiness, satisfaction and confidence -as motiving forces and also as somethings to be discovered.


I want to include a short text by Roland Barthes  from his book The Pleasure of the Text. It is a short piece with the heading of Phrase/Sentence- “The pleasure of the sentence is to a high degree cultural. The artifact created by rhetors, grammarians, linguists, teacher, writer, parents-this artifact is mimicked in a more or less ludic manner; we are playing with an exceptional object, whose paradox has been articulated by linguistics: immutably structured and yet infinitely renewable: something like chess.

Unless for some perverts the sentence is a body?” (51).  I find Barthes’ writing touch on the notions of emotional exchanges that are embedded in language and images. He makes us think of the structure of language as part of the content, meaning, message. I was working with a similar idea(s) when I made the print, that is the image for this week. The chart of writing over top of the knitting, is the flow chart from my masters’ thesis. When the flow chart was made, it crossed my mind, the chart itself could become part of my practice- the spacing of the words and the lines that connecting them. So maybe fifteen year after the thesis was done and I am teaching art, I had an opportunity to use the flow chart in a print project. The work is not a specific genre, but it does take things out of context to suggested other possibilities.


Chapter 4 in the  Bean reading  is true to his form,  giving a clear list of the pros and cons of traditional essay writing and alternative genres. The one thing I found that was missing was the acknowledgment of enjoyment and the emotions on the part of the teacher and the students. The feelings of satisfaction and/or pride of doing their research and producing  works.


Charles Bazerman’s writing made me start to think about the idea of the students as well as the teacher creating content for a class. That there could be the possibility of shared goals and outcomes, with students having a role in the defining of how information is shared and learned.


I have just started to read Patrick Sullivan, Unessay…and it look rich with ideas. I will have more to say when we meet next week. My questions or thought for consideration are- How can students become part of the creation of content for a class?  Again, the importance of feelings, emotions on the part of the teacher and the student in learning- something to talk about.


A Proposal for Fellows Final Output

Each year, at the end of the Winter Semester (usually at the end of May or first week in June), WID has traditionally held the Spring Institute. The Spring Institute is usually a one or two day workshop that allows WID ideology and techniques to be accessible to wider set of Dawson faculty. Each Institute […]

Week 5: The Politics of Literacy II: What is at Stake?

What we imagine and expect out of our students often does not connect with the reality we face in the classroom. We like to imagine thought provoking discussions, but in reality mitigate confusion, anxiety and boredom. I feel like the readings this week addressed the cultural divide that exists between some students, and the expectations […]

Week 3: Designing for Active Learning and Critical Thinking II

Because our reading experiences will be different this week (considering all the optional chapters), I wanted to begin by creating some discussion surrounding the ten strategies for designing critical thinking tasks in Bean chapter 8. Which chapter 8 strategy or strategies inspired you to develop new assignments to foster critical thinking? What might those new […]