Hot-Spots and Holiness: Faith-Based Topics in Freshman Composition.Reportar como inadecuado

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For an instructor of freshman composition at the University of Michigan at Flint, faith-based writing topics offer particular challenges and sometimes intersect in troubling ways with her own prejudices and personal history as a teacher and as a person. But if handled correctly, she believes that a teacher's interaction with students about religious topics can be a mutually enlightening experience and a powerful teaching tool. The instructor first discusses her own background and then offers some maxims about reacting to students' interests in religious topics. First, she recommends the use of a "clear-eyed textbook" to which a teacher can turn when feeling the need for another credible voice and a process. Second, she advocates using the same questioning process for religious topics that she would use for any other topics. Third, she finds there is a need to clarify the nature of evidence and how acceptable and credible evidence differs from one discourse community to another. A fourth maxim is: audience, audience, audience: she suggests that students visualize a reader who disagrees with them or comes from a different tradition. Fifth, the instructor increasingly attempts to refrain from punishing students for exploring religious topics. Sixth, she emphasizes that the skills taught in university writing courses are different from those taught in religious settings, and that the two skill sets are not mutually exclusive. Two sets of e-mails between the instructor and two young students who want to write about religious topics illustrate the process she uses with students. (NKA)

Descriptors: Audience Awareness, Classroom Techniques, Freshman Composition, Higher Education, Religion, Student Interests, Teacher Student Relationship, Writing Assignments

Autor: Worth, Jan


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