Writing in the Professions: Elementary and Secondary Education
- Catalog Description
UWP 104D. Writing in the Professions: Elementary and Secondary Education. (4) Lecture/discussion-3 hours; extensive writing. Prerequisite: course 1 or English 3 or the equivalent and upper division standing. Advanced expository writing in the contemporary American classroom. Strongly recommended for teaching credential candidates. GE credit: Wrt (cannot be used to satisfy a college or university composition requirement and GE writing experience simultaneously). -I, II, III (I, II, III.)
- Course Goals
- To improve students' analytical skills in reading and writing, and to explore through readings and writing assignments issues and problems relevant to the teaching profession
- To give students an opportunity to explore a variety of nonfiction writing forms including narrative, analysis, argument, report, and research papers
- To help students develop a clear, lively, and forceful prose style
- To develop appropriate and consistent strategies for organizing and developing both formal and informal written assignments
- To help students better understand how to use and document sources of information in formal written assignments
- To give students the opportunity to develop research skills (gathering data and synthesizing primary and secondary sources), with a special emphasis on the skills that educators need and on issues and topics related to the field of education
- To provide students with experience in and advice about revising and rewriting their own and other students' writing
- Entry Level
Students should have completed UWP 1 or ENL 3 or the equivalent and have upper division standing. The should be familiar with the general principles of good writing, including organization, development, grammar, punctuation, and mechanics
- Topic Outline
- Understanding writing as a process consisting of such steps as invention, composing, and revising
- Writing for different audiences and adapting ideas and information to suit the needs of different audiences (e.g., parents, students, administrators, legislators)
- Issues related to using a variety of research skills in written assignments: library research, observation, interview, field research, statistical data
- Reading and analyzing issues in contemporary education; developing critical thinking and reading skills
- Writing under pressure and producing timed writing samples and essays for exams education
- Principles of argument as they relate to discussing and analyzing controversial issues in education
- Problems of language and style in expository and analytical writing; developing a clear and sophisticated prose style
- Using a variety of complex and sophisticated rhetorical modes (e.g., argument, analysis, explanation, evaluation) in assignments designed to present the kinds of problem- solving situations faced by teachers, counselors, or administrators
- Criteria for Grading
- The course will be graded by a letter grade.
- Grades will be based on the students' performance on in and out of class writing assignments and a final exam. The requirement for the course is 6000 words of formal written assignments. Students will fulfill the requirement by writing between 4 and 6 papers or exams.
Assignments and sequencing vary from instructor to instructor; however, most follow a general progression like the following: an exploratory personal narrative concerning the reasons why the student is interested in becoming a teacher; a report on a teacher interview and/or classroom observation; an in-class midterm on the order of the CBEST exam; a research paper on some topic related to the field of teaching or to some problem in contemporary education; an argumentative or opinion paper; a final that often has students reassess an earlier paper, especially the first one. Some timed, in-class writing will be part of the formal requirement for the course.
For the reading component of the course, instructors will typically select a nonfiction book about teaching or about problems in contemporary education: e.g., Mike Rose, Lives on the Boundary or Kevin Ryan, The Roller Coaster Year . Supplementary materials, which will vary from instructor or instructor, will be topical and challenging, asking the students to engage in discussions (written and oral) designed to help them think more deeply about current issues in teaching: e.g., essays written for current specialized and general interests publications; reports of governments agencies or private foundations.
In addition, all instructors will require a writing handbook or rhetoric from among those appropriate for advanced students of writing, such as Hairston, Successful Writing.
- Explanation of Potential Course Overlap
UWP 104D does not overlap with any other courses. It is distinguished from UWP 101, Advanced Composition, by its focus on the issues and concerns of future teachers and educators. This special focus results in different reading and writing assignments than in UWP 101 or in other UWP 104-level courses.
- Justification of Units
UWP 104D is a four-unit course. Three hours per week is lecture/discussion. An additional unit of credit is justified by the significant amount of work that students must do outside of class time to plan, draft, and revise the 6000 words of required writing. (The written requirement is equivalent to a term paper.) In addition to this substantial written requirement, students will meet individually with the instructor for discussion and evaluation of each students work.