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Students and teachers need to discuss and understand what kind of role each expects the other to assume at various points in the writing process. In other words, teachers should make their strategies and goals for responding explicit, and should give students the opportunity to explain their perspectives and their reactions. Even if they cannot agree, the discussion itself should prove valuable. This type of discussion is imperative because not only do students have widely different ideas about the role of a writing instructor but instructors themselves have widely different ideas about their role. Descriptions of the approach of two instructors at the same institution makes this point clear. The first instructor prides himself on the time he spends correcting student papers. He requires some kind of writing in every class, and he always returns the papers by the next class meeting--with every error marked. He deducts a fraction of a letter grade for every error; no paper can be rewritten. The second instructor engages his students individually. When he reads an essay, he points out one or two areas that need revision, gives a tentative grade, then returns the essay to the student. Students can revise as many times as necessary to bring the grade up to a passing standard. Despite their differences, both professors are successful and highly appreciated by their students. (Three figures offer teacher and student views.) (TB)

Descriptors: Freshman Composition, Higher Education, Student Attitudes, Student Needs, Teacher Behavior, Teacher Role, Teacher Student Relationship, Teaching Styles

Autor: Thompson, Thomas C.


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