Posted in Graduate Education, Resources, Teaching, What Is Basic Writing?

Upcoming Open House for the Language and Literacy M.A. program at the City College of New York: March 19th AND March 22nd

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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.