I’m enjoying a long day of collegiality and contemplation in Raleigh at this year’s Council of Writing Program Administrators conference, and though I’ll no doubt have much more to say about takeaways as I process in the coming weeks (in particular regarding Asao Inoue’s amazing plenary talk this afternoon), I wanted to share a few random thoughts that have come to mind.
- Scholars and instructors in composition and rhetoric must strike a delicate balance: avoiding “minimization” of what they do by those who misunderstand what they do (e.g. lit faculty disparaging the discipline of C&R: “I don’t really know how to teach grammar”) requires that folks in C&R foreground theory, disciplinary content, and expertise, but successful professional development of WAC/WID faculty requires that folks in C&R convince disciplinary faculty that, in some ways, “you can do it, too!” This is an oversimplification, but elaborating just why it is, in fact, an oversimplification requires a subtle argument.
- In response to a session speaker’s request that we write what it is that gives meaning to my job: “preparing students to be the most well-informed and actively engaged citizens they can possibly be by helping them not only to recognize and utilize the skills they have and are developing, but also to recognize both the obligations they have to their communities and the opportunities they have to fulfill those obligations.”
- I need to adopt a much more asset-based approach in designing future faculty development in WAC/WID: what skills are the faculty bringing, skills that can be leveraged to help others better learn how to teach writing in their disciplines?