Posted in CBW2019, CCCC2019, History of Basic Writing, Mission Statement, Scholarship of Basic Writing, Uncategorized, What Is Basic Writing?

Towards a Position Statement on Basic Writing

This is draft text we are working on for a Statement on Basic Writing. We are seeking input into the principles, including action steps, questions, and summaries of information/knowledge/research.

Principle 1:

STUDENTS WHO PLACE INTO BASIC WRITING ARE INTELLECTUALLY CAPABLE, AND WE SHOULD RECOGNIZE AND VALUE THEIR HUMANITY AND INDIVIDUALITY, INCLUDING THEIR VOICES, EXPERTISE, EXPERIENCE, LANGUAGES, AND IDENTITIES.

Principle 2:

BASIC WRITING IS NOT A PRECURSOR TO LEGITIMATE ACADEMIC WORK; THEREFORE, STUDENTS SHOULD BE ABLE TO EXPERIENCE BASIC WRITING AS VALUABLE IN ITS OWN RIGHT.

Principle 3:

BASIC WRITING IS ROOTED IN A HISTORY OF SOCIAL JUSTICE; THEREFORE, WE MUST CONTINUE TO ADVOCATE FOR ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION FOR ACADEMICALLY DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS.

Principle 4:

BASIC WRITING IS A RESEARCH-BASED DISCIPLINE WITH AN EVOLVING SCHOLARLY HISTORY, AND ITS TEACHERS MUST BE REFLECTIVE PRACTITIONERS ENGAGED IN PEDAGOGICAL RENEWAL.

Principle 5:

BASIC WRITING COURSES SHOULD ENGAGE STUDENTS IN READING AND WRITING AS SOCIAL, CONTEXTUAL, MEANING-MAKING ACTIVITIES.

Suggested Changes In Today’s Session

http://www2.ncte.org/statement/secondlangwriting/

http://www2.ncte.org/statement/21stcentframework/

What is our goal here?

Statement for admins?

Statement for BW instructors?

Best practices for TEACHING vs. Best practices for HIRING? Both? Neither?

Preamble: precarity

Three moves in the polemical preamble–1st claim our origin story as radical democracy and opportunity for students, 2nd to own our own positionality, and to transition to our principles

What do we MEAN by Basic Writing?

The Council of Basic Writing Statement of Ethos and Principles

Basic Writing is a pedagogical program designed to empower students who have been failed by racist and classist structures in education. Basic Writing grows out of the ideal of democratic equitable education–an ideal meant to provide accessible opportunities for all people.

The Council of Basic Writing understands that Basic Writing is a fraught and imperfect enterprise. Given the decades-long underfunding of education and neoliberal logics dominating educating, conditions in institutions, the classroom, and in society are even more precarious. The Council of Basic Writing refuses to capitulate to notion that there is no value in developmental education. Instead, we see the work of teaching underprepared writers as a direct challenge to these structures.

BW is an important way to address generational inequalities and promote access to higher education but we should not that BW can also be used to perpetuate inequalities and limit access to higher education.

We recognize Basic writing as a site with the most vulnerable students with the most vulnerable teachers. Basic Writing students are vulnerable in the sense that they often come from majority minority communities, use varieties of English that are not privileged and are denigrated. Basic writing students are often first-generation students and students affected by adverse socio-economic conditions. Basic writing students face racist and classist structures and assessment practices. Basic writing teachers are vulnerable in the sense that they often receive less professionalization and are frequently contingent.

Basic Writing instruction must include anti-racist and critical pedagogies. Basic writing must be driven by research-based best practices and the mission of these programs must recognize the social justice implications of our work.

Where does BW live? Dual enrollment/ALP/etc.

We recognize Basic writing as a site with the most vulnerable students with the most vulnerable teachers.

Basic Writing students are vulnerable in the sense that they often come from majority minority communities, use varieties of English that are not privileged and are denigrated. Basic writing students are often first-generation students and students affected by adverse socio-economic conditions. Basic writing students face racist and classist structures and assessment practices.

Basic writing teachers are vulnerable in the sense that they often receive less professionalization and are frequently contingent.

Here in the preamble, we need to define BW as opposed to “remediation” and “basic writing” and “developmental writing.” (and developmental English)

CONTINGENT labor–how do we address the labor conditions of BW faculty

Add the adjunct faculty data!

Language–Edits

Principle I: STUDENTS WHO are PLACEd INTO BASIC WRITING ARE INTELLECTUALLY CAPABLE, AND WE SHOULD RECOGNIZE AND VALUE THEIR HUMANITY AND INDIVIDUALITY, INCLUDING THEIR VOICES, EXPERTISE, EXPERIENCE, LANGUAGES, AND IDENTITIES.  

[trying to take a less defensive posture for Principle I?) →    We should recognize and value the humanity and individuality–including their voices, expertise, experience, languages, intelligences, and identities — of students who enroll in basic writing courses.

Principle II: BASIC WRITING IS NOT A PRECURSOR TO LEGITIMATE ACADEMIC WORK; THEREFORE, STUDENTS SHOULD BE ABLE TO EXPERIENCE BASIC WRITING AS VALUABLE IN ITS OWN RIGHT.

Principle III:BASIC WRITING IS ROOTED IN A HISTORY OF SOCIAL JUSTICE; THEREFORE, WE MUST CONTINUE TO ADVOCATE FOR ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION FOR ACADEMICALLY DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS.

Principle IV:BASIC WRITING IS A RESEARCH-BASED DISCIPLINE WITH AN EVOLVING SCHOLARLY HISTORY, AND ITS TEACHERS MUST BE REFLECTIVE PRACTITIONERS ENGAGED IN PEDAGOGICAL RENEWAL.

Principle V:BASIC WRITING COURSES SHOULD ENGAGE STUDENTS IN READING AND WRITING AS SOCIAL, CONTEXTUAL, MEANING-MAKING ACTIVITIES.

Notes from Today’s Session on these proposed principles–from our discussion

  1. Should principle 4 be a subset of principle 2?
  2. Preamble: thinking about having it be a political preamble–should we do this work / continue this work — we need to take on those preconceptions and the basis and foundation for basic writing as a radical part of open admissions pedagogy–also issues of dual vulnerability–students and faculty
  3. Preamble: claiming and enacting principles based on this
  4. Question about language: can we say democratic, access inclusive
  5. Principle 2 is defensive (as written): suggestions for writing it more positively–see photos below.
  6. Focus: we should not be defensive in our language
  7. Principle 4 should be a subset of principle 2
  8. Discussion of adjunct/contingent labor/non-tenure-track labor–need to make sure that we are supporting fair labor conditions AND pointing to adjunct/contingent labor/non-tenure-track–question about linking it to this work that already exists: https://cccc.ncte.org/cccc/resources/positions/working-conditions-ntt
  9. Principle 5: justification of how basic writing studies should proceed / how basic writers make up a large component of what we do, but it makes up a smaller amount of the scholarship
  10. Principle 5: basic writing research should not be to fix students. It should be to understand who they are and how they compose
  11. Principle 5: we need to be aware of the social cultural that the research must be ethically bound to address
  12. Principle 5: students should be actively engaged in the research and design
  13. Principle 5: where could basic writing of the future lend a hand? Distance learning; recognizing how mental health is playing a role; tracking basic writers in their lives beyond the classroom and supporting them beyond the composition classroom
  14. Clarify that students who place into basic writing might still benefit from additional types of support
  15. Economic arguments around courses
  16. Principle 1: students who enroll instead of place
  17. Principle 1: “intellectually capable”–name the way students are capable
  18. Principle 1: look at WPA statement
  19. What types of calls for research?
  20. They are basic in a particular way
  21. Deserving of equal scholarly attention
  22. These writers operate from a different knowledge base

Additional Notes & Edits (from the wall)

Small Group Work

Next Steps:

We will circulate this on the Facebook page, on the Blog, and on CBW-L for comments and feedback.

Posted in Calls to Action, CBW 2011, Mission Statement

Next Steps for CBW

Michael Hill’s presentation today challenged the Council on Basic Writing to move beyond a mission statement to focus on best practice statements, like WPA and NCTE and CCCC have. His call to action included:

Clear & Strong Best Practice Statements on issues like:

  • assessment
  • grammar instruction
  • placement procedures
  • class size
  • faculty training
  • ESL
  • programmatic support
  • textbooks
  • contingent faculty
  • acceleration
  • what it means to teach for student voice & student empowerment
  • curriculum
Posted in Calls to Action, CBW 2011, CCCC, History of Basic Writing, Mission Statement, Politics of Remediation, What's New in Basic Writing

Developing Ideas for the Mission Statement

Idea #1: Mission Statement
The Council on Basic Writing is an organization that advocates for all basic writers across all institutions types and supports basic writing teacher-scholars in the professional endeavors. We pursue these ends by:

· Working to raise the visibility of basic writings’ central role to the academic and civic enterprise across our campuses, in the profession and in the public eye.
· Fostering a network that encourages the development of new research and collaborative strategies to enhance teaching excellence through BWeThe Basic Writing E-Journal and an annual meeting,
· Advocating for the best conditions for teaching and learning Basic Writing, and
· Providing support for the development and dissemination of best teaching practices that foster student access and success.

We think we need position statements and Core principals!

Core Principals (we really like the way ATTW set this up)

  • To the public
  • The Council on Basic Writing sees a literate citizenry as the foundation of social justice.
  • To academy
  • To the promote the academic traditions as of advancing and sharing knowledge.
  • The CBW values diversity and diverse learners.

 

Idea #2: CBW Mission Statement and Core Principles:

The Council on Basic Writings’ (CBW) core values promote public and institutional basic writing policies and scholarship that advocate for and support students, faculty, and programs, in  connecting and enhancing their collective developing voices within a linguistically diverse world.

  1. Should have a role in building a culture of scholarship around basic writing
  2. Public voice of Basic Writing Scholarship:
  3. Support faculty and students in competence in using English for academic disciplinary, professional and social power for a linguistically diverse world.
  4. Work to influence public policy supportive of goals.
  5. Provide Professional development for faculty teaching Basic Writing
  6. Provide assistance in preparation of graduate students for teaching Basic Writing
  7. Support, promote, and provide community for instructors and graduate students of Basic Writing
  8. Advocate for public institutional Basic Writing Programs nationally
  9. Disseminate effective basic writing pedagogies.

Idea #3: CBW advocates and promotes the professionalizaton of basic writing studies, to provide access to diverse adult learners (or educational opportunities for an engaged citizens), embracing our knowledge and expertise in multiple literacies at multiple sites for all adult learners. To afford diverse adult learners access to academic, professional/technical, and other language communities.

Idea #4: Because we believe that all students are learners capable of constructing and expressing ideas that are both valuable and worthy of expression, the CBW supports student success, valuable academic partnerships with a variety of stakeholders, innovative practices in teaching/leaving and improved working conditions for Basic Writing teachers.

**this is a preamble to a larger statement**

Idea #5: CBW is dedicated to teaching, research, and administrative work that promotes social justice and supports students for whom continued support is necessary as they transition to new, more demanding rhetorical contexts. CBW’s core principles include:

  • collaboration between 2 and 4 year colleges
  • communication and cooperation between various campus support services
  • sophisticated pedagogy that integrates reading and writing across diverse learning styles
  • accessibile high quality education
  • scholarship that integrates theory and reflective practice

Discussion Points:

Are all learners capable of “constructing and expressing ideas that are both valuable and worthy of expression” or is it that we want to ensure that all students have ACCESS?

What happens when you put labels on people? What happens when you institutionalize those labels? What happens when we pigeon-hole students? Limit them?

On ACCESS: The Chronicle of Higher Education is regularly reporting on students who are closed out of classes that are full (courses close in April for a Fall semester).

We cannot assume that developmental studies are going to survive.

Our mission is wider than basic writing courses (writing centers, adult returning courses, community literacy, etc.)

We have to defend egalitarianism (again). Basic writing is on its way out. We need to go back to our basic values.

These statements assume that we’re okay. They do not assume we’re at risk.

We’re at risk.

We need to have a strong emphasis on advocacy: access, social justice. Advocacy must be one of our roles.

Gate keeping and standards seem to dictate our roles (legacy of the double function–Mary Soliday)–how do we push back.

The key is public.

The evisceration of the pubic sector is at work here: the privatization of what used to be public (K-12 and higher education); our students are expendable in this society.

In the 1960s, it was “cool” to have a basic writing program. It’s not “cool” anymore. The four year schools didn’t put up as much of a fight as they should have when basic skills were pushed to two year schools.

We also need to recognize that there has been a lot of research that indicates that what we’ve been doing for the last 20-30 years has not been as effective as we have hoped it could be. This is a complicated issue; it can work against us.

National push on completion rates: the more developmental students we can send to adult basic education, we don’t have to count in our completion rates.

Students need access to support services. Access doesn’t mean anything if students do not graduate.

Also, what happens with outsourcing of basic courses (including composition I).

We need to educate our colleagues.

The corporate move gets great support from the home schooling folks. Home schooling people have great suspicion of public education (and a negative perspective on public education). This limits the diverse mix of classrooms. Privatization of education in the homes leads to looking down on people who can’t privately educate their children.

The pecking order in departments: literature/creative writing, composition, basic writing.

Expendable students: we have more students who need the kind of support we can offer in basic writing.

We need to have an articulated sense of who we are; we need to clean house. How are we NOT LISTED IN THE CHAIRS’ ADDRESS? What does this say about the perception of basic writing within our own field?

 

**WE HAVE TO HELP STUDENTS FIND THEIR PASSIONS!!!**