I enjoy the teaching task because of its insoluble conflict between transmitting established knowledge and critically examining its legitimacy. This tension needs to be performed in the projects that students undertake so that critical thinking is embedded in their writing. Often, it seems that a flexible process model can bring individual interests and insights into conversation with the "knowledgeable others" who also think about whatever topic.
Chris Gilliard, Mary Ragan, and I offer a map metaphor to our students to enable their critical powers. Students do three things: 1) map existing discourse; 2) interrogate this existing map for omissions, incompletness, bias, assumptions, and reinscriptions of power; 3) re-draw the map so that includes their own insights and values. This is an especially useful metaphor for students who are thinking about digital culture. For our comrades in the adjunct ranks, we've developed a small handbook for implementing such pedagogy; of course, its audience includes regular faculty as well. It has been used for the two classes below. The book is free and available HERE. It is also available as a simple pdf HERE.
Texting the Digital
pedagogy, critique, and text
Students in a first-semester composition class built on the pioneering work of Jean Anyon to examine how their own education at a community college might be affected by digital redlining. Not only did they think and write critically, they created a zine that addressed these issues in a visual format that spoke to a wider public audience. Note that the project builds on a series of preliminary issues, readings, and writings.
Students in a second-semester composition class critiqued the college's Guided Pathways to Success initiatve to assess its ties to surveillance, privacy, and class bias. Like the students in the course above, they examined how education at a community college might be affected by digital redlining. Not only did they think and write critically, they created a collection of critical essays addressed to a wider audience. Note that the project builds on a series of preliminary issues, readings, and writings.