The CBW Needs Three New Voices for CCCC 2017

Dear Graduate Students, Advisors, and Professors in Composition:

At CCCC 2017, the Council on Basic Writing will be considering the future of Basic Writing as both a field of teaching and a field of research. In order to help us consider the future, we will be using the CBW’s sponsored session to highlight the work of graduate students in our field. We will be selecting three presenters from applicants and will invite these students to take the stage of one of our major events of the year. Any graduate student who is working on issues pertinent to Basic Writing studies is eligible to apply, though we recommend that you have some familiarity with the field. Once selected, students will be paired with a long time CBW member and scholar of Basic Writing for mentorship on their work before it is presented on a major stage. Presenters will then present their work at the CBW Sponsored Session “Emerging Voices in Basic Writing Studies” on Thursday morning from 10:30-11:45. Presenters will also be invited to the CBW pre-conference workshop and to our Thursday evening SIG meeting so that they can learn about how the CBW might become a resource in their professional lives. Unfortunately, there is no CBW funding for participants’ travel .

In order to apply, please send the following materials via email to Michael Hill, mdhill1@hfcc.edu, by January 9, 2017:

  1. A brief letter of application introducing yourself, your interest in Basic Writing, and your work.
  2. A 250 word abstract of the work you intend to present. This abstract should give some indication of your presentation style and of your research/argument.
  3. A letter of reference from a professor or advisor in the field that both recommends you as a presenter and verifies your status as a graduate student.

Either your letter of application or letter of reference should also promise that you will be able to attend CCCC 2017 if you are selected.

If you have any questions about this session or the requested materials, please contact Michael Hill at the email address above. You can also Tweet your question to @4cCBW.

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TSIG Updates

We had a rowdy TSIG meeting discussing basic writing!

The TSIG began with a celebration of the University of New Mexico, who won this year’s INNY award for their Stretch and Studio program!

Then, we moved into small groups to explore possible areas for policy areas that CBW should explore. Small groups brainstormed some of the following policy & focus or inquiry areas:

  • A statement on ethical textbook selection: instructor-generated, no workbooks, costs, peer reviewed, derived from BW and comp Rhet pedagogy, ethical selection,
    themes like: education, freedom, community-building, social justice, non-cognitive;
  • How do we talk with instructors about how and why they use different texts?
  • A survey on student access to technology (what do our students actually have access to?)
  • Faculty preparation & qualifications necessary to teach basic writing (maybe a certification as an add on to an MA or PH.D. program).
  • State and Federal mandates on curriculum without research;
  • Transferring courses from one college to another;
  • Different ALP models;
  • Recommendations on effective preparation for teachers of basic writing (this would put the onus on programs and not serve as a mandate);
  • A sense of the house motion (or other legislation before CCCC) on M.A. and Ph.D. programs including basic writing as course that graduate students teach (there are a lot of issues here: mandating versus an elective– we need to explore this in more depth);
  • A sense of the house motion (or other legislation before CCCC) that M.A. and Ph.D. programs include a course on the teaching of basic writing  (The teaching of basic writing. See notes above about exploring this in more depth);
  • If graduate students don’t get a chance to put theory and practice together, this perpetuates ideas about basic writing that doesn’t really match the reality of the basic writing classroom;
  • We should look at the C’s statement on preparing faculty for college-level writing;
  • Could we think about asking people to integrate basic writing into different classes (upside: doesn’t segregate basic writing from the rest of comp; downside: doesn’t allow you to dig into basic writing);

We wrapped up after sharing from our brainstorm. The group was really excited about these issues!

Are you interested in working on these issues? If so, please reach out via the CBW-listserv to continue the discussion! We look forward to hearing from you!

 

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2016 INNY Award

Congratulations to the University of New Mexico for winning this year’s CBW Innovation Award!

 

image

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Open Business Meeting

Michael Hill, CBW Co-Chair, opened the business meeting by welcoming everyone! The open business meeting is focused on making sure that we get lots of input from our basic writing community!

Agenda: 

1. WELCOME & INTRODUCTIONS

We had the opportunity to hear from colleagues around the country and hear some of the exciting research and scholarship faculty are working on!

Also in introductions, we heard about basic writing issues concerning faculty across the country such as placement, second language learners in basic writing, syllabi, etc. We discussed the importance of networking and the basic writing community coalition building.

2. MEMBER SURVEY:

Michael Hill and Lynn Reid, Co-Chairs, summarized the results of a member survey conducted by Marisa Klages-Bombich.

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CBW Membership Survey Responses

(for a Word Version, click here: SURVEYCBW2015)

Institutions with participants in survey:

2 year schools:  28

4-year schools: 26

Community College of Baltimore County
Helena College University of Montana
Bronx Community College, CUNY
Bishop State Community College
University of Wisconsin Madison
Kingsborough CC, CUNY
University of Wisconsin Colleges
Nassau Community College, Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, Lehman College
Johnson
McMurry University
Shawnee State University
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Hawkeye Community College
North Shore Community College
Central Virginia Community College
Prairie State College
City College at MSUB
Arizona State University
LaGuardia CC (2)
College of Lake County
Southwestern Illinois College
College of Southern Idaho
Housatonic Community College
Heartland Community College (Normal IL)
Boise State University
Community College of Allegheny County
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Lincoln University
Ivy Tech Central Indiana
West Chester University of PA
Texas Woman’s University
Bergen Community College
Bristol Community College, Quinsigamond Community College, Roger Williams University
The Art Institute of New York City
Ivy Tech Community College
Northeastern Illinois University
Frostburg State University
Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University
California Lutheran University
Bishop State Community College (2)
Metropolitan Community College, Omaha Nebraska
Green River College
Westchester Community College
Salina Area Technical College
University of Dubuque
Whatcom Community College
Joliet Junior College
Heartland Community College
UMass Lowell
Lake Michigan College
The City College of New York
Kingsborough Community College

Titles  of respondents:

Assistant Professor: 11

Associate Professor: 11

Professor: 11

Part-time Faculty: 2

Instructor: 12

Lecturer: 1

Graduate Teaching Assistant: 1

Senior Lead Instructor: 1

Developmental Program Coordinator: 1

WPA only: 2

WPA in addition to above title:  5

Do you consider yourself a member of  CBW?

N= 52

Nearly 63% of respondents consider themselves members of CBW.

(Yes: 34, No:  5, Don’t Know: 11, No answer: :2)

The Council on Basic Writing participates in or produces a number of different resources for its members and for the world of Basic Writing. Which of the following do you use?

A majority of respondents use a combination of CBW resources. Six respondents used only the listserv (3) or facebook (3).  The other 52 repondents used some combination of all the tools:

Screenshot 2016-04-07 14.12.22

How should people become members?

We offered three pathways to membership:

  • Participation at C’s or on listserve (n=29)
  • Online Sign-up or at a CBW function (n=30)
  • Recruiting members through social media (n=30)

Nearly everyone believed that all three pathways to membership are acceptable and no one method was strides ahead of the other, most people voted for all three pathways.

What should the duties of membership include?

We asked what the duties of membership should include and offered the following options, respondents could choose more than one option:

Participation at C’s and on the listserv  (n=47)

Voting on organization policy and board membership (n=37)

Voting on public policy and pedagogy statements (n=36)

Participation on CBW committees (n=30)

Commitment to regional action on Basic Writing issues (n=38)

Overwhelmingly, respondents found that participation at C’s and on the listserv should constitute member responsibilities.

However, a number of people also believed that voting on organization issues or public policy issues are also important, as is a commitment to regional basic writing issues. The lowest number of people selected participating in CBW committees.

Which of the following information would you be interested in?

 We asked members what information they’d be interested in having related to CBW. (n=52)

Screenshot 2016-04-07 14.12.37

Most people are interested in Official CBW literature and an Official Website.

On which of the following committees would you be interested in serving?

We asked people which committees they would be interested in serving on. People could select more than one committee.  There is interest in serving on CBW committees, though the interest is not entirely robust.

Professional Development (29)

Affiliations and Outreach (18)

Awards (9)

Social Media (17)

Conference (17)

Elections to Executive Board/Steering Committee (6)

Executive Board/Steering Committee (16)

Policy Task Force (17)

Would you be willing to pay CBW membership dues to help the organization grow? If so what would be reasonable? (people could select more than one option)

Screenshot 2016-04-07 14.19.03

 

The majority of respondents favor a sliding scale dues schedule; however, $15-$25.00 was the most popular dollar amount.  If we consider the 24 respondents who consider themselves members and set a $20.00 membership fee, that would have given us an annual operating budget of $680.00.

Other comments-see below.

Any other comments, questions or suggestions/and or concerns regarding the CBW?

  • All of this is a fantastic idea, and I can’t wait to see what you guys do!
  • I would really love to see CBW grow as an organization and offer a rich set of professional resources and policy statements. There is a tremendous need for national leadership to ensure that teaching, program administration, and state policies draw from scholarship and evidence-based disciplinary practices.
  • I’m extremely busy and just like to have access to the listserv–it gives me a quick and informal idea of what is of interest and/or concern to others involved in basic writing.
  • Although I indicated above that I consider myself a “member” of the CBW, I’ve never really felt like it’s been like a traditional academic organization. I am pleased to see this survey because I am hoping to become more involved (since before I wasn’t sure how to even go about doing that!).
  • I’m relatively new to my position and Basic Writing, but I have learned a great deal from the listserv and online resources. I appreciate the materials and all the work that has gone into creating them. Thank you!
  • I think this is a great idea! We need to develop a CBW presence in a variety of ways, and I am more than happy to be a part of the growth of this organization!
  • The question about dues is a challenging one, but to develop and maintain a more robust presence, it does seem like CBW will need resources. I nonetheless do think that part-time faculty should be asked to commit less than full-time faculty. Another option might be to suggest a donation, but to also offer prospective members the opportunity to “opt out” of a financial commitment without penalty. Even the high end of your suggested dues–$30 to $40–is significantly less than what I see some other professional organizations, including some of those involved with developmental education, charge their membership.
  • I am new to the listserv and greatly appreciate its existence. My professional obligations and limited funds usually prohibit my attending major conferences, but I would be willing to work behind the scenes as the organization grows. Thank you for doing this survey (along with everything else).
  • MAIN CONCERN: Opportunities for active participation throughout the year would offer more meaningful visibility than paid membership.

    Since most of the people that would benefit from a more active CBW are probably NOT tenure-track faculty, charging for membership at this time seems inappropriate. Once we build a more visible and more participatory organization that works THROUGHOUT THE YEAR on Basic Writing issues, then paid membership could be reconsidered.

    Indeed, participation seems more crucial than “membership.” Building committees and other opportunities for participation could be crucial for helping to create the main issue that CBW has now: participation outside of CCCC. Committees that stay active throughout the year would help to increase CBW visibility. Membership– especially PAID membership– with not much to offer in return other than CCCC-related pursuits — would not have as much impact.

  • This survey is a great idea!🙂
  • I would love to see a CBW presence at regional TYCAs. Some of us cannot afford to get to CCCCs or will not choose to leave our classrooms in order to attend it, but we’re able to attend TYCA more easily. I would be willing to serve as a CBW representative at my TYCA region. I only attend CCCCs when it coincides with Spring Break so I miss out on many CBW opportunities.

    Please plug BWe more. I intend to check it out but forget. Including TOC in an email instead of attachment is recommended because then I see why I need to leave email-land right now and check out X article.

    P.S. I’d also like to help with the pedagogy statement that was started at CCCCs, and, um, while I’m suggesting things…what are the possibilities the CBW workshop could be a half day instead of the marathon 9 to 5 session? I sort of get burned out 2 days into CCCCs when I start it with such a lengthy day right after traveling and then try to hit the SIGs and otherwise do all the things. This might just be me though.

  • Thank you for the work you have done and continue doing to create and sustain the CBW community.

    I might consider serving on a committee, but it would depend on the time commitment involved as my role on campus and my system-wide committee work leaves me with limited time for meaningful work serving my professional organizations.

  • Collecting dues, maintaining records, establishing a bank account, cashing checks in a timely manner, etc.–all can be a huge challenge. When I was Chair in the early 80s, we did have a low membership fee of $5 or $10 or so. Members were to receive mailed newsletters for the fee. It was extremely difficult to keep track of and handle money and get the newsletter out in a timely fashion to the right addresses. Often the newsletter was done just days before the CCCC, and of course, some people’s addresses had changed. Sometimes people complained if they had not received a newsletter and naturally enough wanted their money back. So I would proceed with caution where money comes into play. If you go this route, I recommend getting someone else to handle it–would the CCCC handle money for CBW maybe?
  • Thanks for this!! Let me know what else I can do. We need more presence between other groups such as NAADE, etc. they are so elitist and get so bogged down in local issues, not realizing we all need to work together.
  • I am a basic writing specialist and would love to be better connected to people, conversations, research, etc. I feel like I’m having a hard time finding that community and hope that changes!
  • Establish standards for faculty who teach Basic Writing.
  • This is a great group, and I loved the workshop. I wonder how we can encourage more two-year college faculty to join the group and find it relevant to the work they do.
  • I think the list serve does qualify me as a member, but I’m really not sure. But I think making the membership and organization of CBW more parallel to CCCC/NCTE would legitimize it more. Thanks for the survey–good idea!
  • I’m not quite sure on the CBW relationship to other organizations: CCCC, NCTE, etc. I know TYCA has an unusual relationship; CBW?
  • Don’t make it complicated or exclusive. Invite and include everyone who may be interested. Emphasize what we do in terms of social justice.
  • Thank you for this thoughtful survey. I agree that more systematically reaching into the BW community for CBW is a good idea. Regarding the drafting of policy statements, I’m concerned that making the participation too far-reaching too soon, things might become unwieldy. Perhaps there could be policy forums online and the voting/ crafting of policies could find its major shaping influence at CBW or within its committees.

Notes:

The survey was created from the desire to learn more about how CBW could serve the Basic Writing Community. This survey was released on March 21, 2015, shortly after CCCC 2015. It was open for over 1 month and the link was posted in multiple online venues.  We received 54 responses. Forty-eight responses were NOT from current executive board membership. Most questions had 52-53 respondents.

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3. Discussion of the Survey: 

There was general agreement that the survey was very useful! This is a summary of the group discussion in response to the member survey:

How do we adapt to changing notions of basic writers? How do we support them? How do we support the work of supporting those students?

How many people do we have in the CBW?

Susan Naomi Bernstein raised the issue that categorizing students as “basic writers” essentializes the students.

How might we identify the populations that we serve? How might we identify the work we are doing in the world? The work our students are doing?

We need to make sure that people know what resources are out there (and to provide a central place for those resources–like an expanded resource share). Because of language: “basic” writers, “developmental” writing, “remedial” writing, etc. it’s hard to know where to start.

It would also be helpful to have a library of resource and position statements (e.g. course caps, budgets, etc.).

How do we talk about our work so that other people can find it without being reductive? (again, how do we talk about our work)?

We need keywords in Basic Writing (and something like an Amazon recommendation: if you like this… you’ll like this…).

We need more ways for people to participate actively and feel an important part of the CBW. We would like to create opportunities for people to consider themselves members of CBW by doing.

We also discussed ideas for next year’s workshop.

4. What is the work of CBW when we are not at CCCC?

How might we think about committee work and the work of CCCC?

We recently lost funding for our travel award. This was one way that we were able to help participants.

We discussed ways to support the scholarship of graduate students; contingent faculty, etc.

 

Should we find ways to connect to NADE? How do we participate in NADE discussions about basic writing? A connection point might be some of the larger politics around developmental education.

Also, we need to continue the TYCA connections. These were useful to promote the work of CBW and a gathering of figuring out who is interested & who wants to be connected to this work. If we are strategic about it, it’s a starting point to build panels together and to take  concerns and translate them into action in a particular geographic area.

Also, we discussed how we are defining ourselves and how we represent ourselves in our outreach.

There was a discussion about funding and how to get funding (to be continued).

We discussed several new possible committees to continue the work of CBW outside of CCCC:

  • A committee to support the work of scholars in the form of an annual award for the best graduate student work in basic writing.
  • An issues committee to work on policy issues.
  • A promotion committee/outreach for people who don’t get to come to CCCC to make our work more visible.

We’ll continue this discussion in the SIG tonight at 6:30 p.m. Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Many thanks to everyone who attended!

We look forward to seeing you at the other CBW events at CCCC this week!

  • Thursday, 4/7  4:45-6:00 
    • E.06  CBW Sponsored Session  Hilton Ballroom of the Americas, Salon E, Level 2
  • Thursday, 4/7  6:30-7:30
    • TSIG.02  CBW Sig  GRB Room 351C, Level 3

 

 

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Filed under Basic Writing Projects & Initiatives, CBW 2016, CCCC 2016, Politics of Remediation, Scholarship of Basic Writing, What's New in Basic Writing, Who is Basic Writing?

Creating Space for Writing as Activist Practice: Writing with WITS

Our last session is brought to us by the Houston-based Writers in the Schools (WITS) program. The WITS approach engages teachers and students in shared writing experiences while providing an embedded learning community. WITS partners professional writers with schools, prisons, juvenile detention centers, and other groups for one-hour workshops each week, which are safe spaces for writing as activist practice.

This workshop was very participatory, which is why this blog is short. Among other things, we focused on the power of image and did an activity that illustrated how even small alterations can change the meaning of an image. These types of activities are powerful pedagogy, in and outside the classroom.

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Diverse Needs and Talents: Acting on the Promise of BW

This session focuses on contact points between the mission(s) of BW programs, the institution, and teaching practice, highlighting the diverse needs and talents of students enrolled in basic writing courses. The chair is Barbara Gleason, and speakers are Andrew Lucchesi (CUNY Grad Center), Hope Parisi (Kingsborough CC), and Christie Toth (Utah).

Andrew Lucchesi, “Experiments in Disabling the Basic Writing Classroom” (access talk at www.tinyurl.com/cbw-disability). Central question: How can a disability studies approach enable me to support students in the writing classroom? Focusing on two types of disabilities: learning disabilities (dyslexia and information processing impairments) and psychosocial disabilities: psychiatric impairments, such as depression or anxiety; development impairments, such as ADD; and social processing impairments, such as ASD.

Disability is an asset in the classroom, and a disability studies approach improves our pedagogy and pushes us to be more inclusive in the writing classroom. Lucchesi argues it’s the disparity of strengths that characterize learning disabilities, and he sees the BW classroom as an exciting place to build on written, aural, and spoken modes of composing. Lucchesi shows various adaptive tools and argues these tools can work for all students.

Speaker Two is Hope Parisi: “Writing Through the Academic Looking Glass: A Basic Writing and Support Services Tutorial Model for Multiple Repeaters.”At Kingsborough Community College, an exit exam must be passed for students to move into first-year writing courses, and some students repeatedly fail the exam. Her central question is whether a place still exists for “repeaters” in remedial structures, beyond a college’s or program’s default structures. How long will this place exist, and will it eventually result in remedial exits? At what cost? In other words, are we thinking about the students who don’t progress, students in whom a lot was invested?

Parisi identifies part of the problem as the “silo effect” of separable service units within a college/university, each addressing distinct needs. The tutorial model developed at KCC is an academic-driven model modeled on the work of Kathleen Manning et al. This model tailors support to students’ actual academic challenges found within the classroom. The tutorial offers a range of support services–counseling; advising, and occasional topic workshops, largely through TRIO–as well as “third space” comfort and social belonging via the studio model. This third space is important, because it is where the classroom experience can be safely re-processed and navigated.

The final speaker is Christie Toth from the University of Utah; her talk is entitled “‘Assimilation’ in Basic Writing: Learning from Tribal College Faculty and Students.” Her presentation focuses on the vexed issue of assimilation in basic writing instruction, specifically in the context of Native American student writers and tribal colleges. She performed an ethnographic case study at Dine’ College, which serves the Navajo Nation.

Tribal colleges face many challenges and are a complex site for research and teaching. Toth’s takeaways from her research: culture is important, but being focused only on the dangers of cultural assimilation removes us from the importance of teaching academic literacies as a means of challenging colonialism. Toth emphasizes Lyons’s concept of rhetorical sovereignty and that teaching academic literacy can be an example of rhetorical sovereignty; she also draws on Heath’s critical language awareness. Toth asks us to interrogate settler ideologies in the context of academic language and examine the role of writing in both perpetuating and resisting settler colonialism. She has found recent conversations in translingualism very helpful in understanding these dynamics. At the same time, we must teach students about language variation as rhetorical choices.

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Keynote: Grasping the “Phenomenal Forms”: A Dialogue on Taking Action in Basic Writing

The CBW Workshop keynote presentation is being given jointly by Deborah Mutnick of Long Island University and Shannon Carter of Texas A&M Commerce. These two scholars’ work is well-known in basic writing circles, and both have given much to CBW as an organization.

The theme of this joint keynote is the relationship between surface realities and underlying social structures and the implications for the teaching and learning of writing. Guiding questions: How do we foster critical consciousness in the classroom? How do we foster students’ sense of agency? How can teachers help students overcome obstacles to learning?

They will return to two case studies in their previously published work–“Joe” in Mutnick’s Writing in an Alien World and “Eric” in Carter’s The Way Literacy Lives. Mutnick begins with a discussion of the work of Luis Villacanas de Castro, author of Critical Pedagogy and Marx, Vgotsky, and Freire.

So how do we foster students’ sense of agency? Carter gives us her big reveal: “Eric” is her brother. Eric had diverse, significant, and complex literacy practices outside of school, but those literacies were not able to be deployed in school. Eric didn’t see these literacies as literacy, either–the “real” writing was done in school. What he did outside of school wasn’t writing, in his view. Carter argues that school-based literacies have become so entrenched that only they are seen as literacy, while a wide range of literacy practices used outside of school are dismissed and ignored as not literacy. What Carter wants for Eric and all students is rhetorical dexterity: the ability to read, compose, and negotiate across linguistic codes. Mutnick then briefly discusses”Joe Baxter” from her book. Joe inspired the title of her book when he wrote a paper that asked, “Blacks in Science Fiction: Why Are We Invisible in an Alien World?”

How can teachers help students overcome obstacles to learning? We can practice Freirean conscientizacao or “critical consciousness.” We can engage in egalitarian, democratic dialogue, not because we want to be “nice” to students or even “democratic,” but because students needs democratic dialogue in order to grow intellectually. We as teachers needs to create the culture for students to transition into active intellectuals.

We must also engage in participatory action research. Rhetorical dexterity combined with participatory action research may help students engage with the phenomenal forms that impact their lives. We must create contexts through dialogue and participatory research in which students can take their own daily lives as the object of their reflection process.

 

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