Design and technology gcse coursework

Nonetheless, he made his living as a professional writer. Students soon learn that the possibilities in the real world of writ- ing are virtually limitless — that the narrow essay formats they have previously produced have little to do with writing as it is practiced by writers. The writing process in practice does include brain- storming, outlining, drafting, revision, and all the steps we have taught for years. The active writer writes in a chaotic manner, incorporating the steps of the writing process in overlapping, holistic, and idiosyncratic ways. An effective next assignment is to have students write original pieces, allowing choice of both form and content.

The focus of the assignment is for students to ERIC - 152 - Being Honest about Writing and Individual Freedom openly defy as many of the conventions — those preconceptions they have been taught directly and indirectly in school — as they can while producing an effective and appropriate piece. They should be encouraged to challenge the introduction-body- conclusion organization as well. As they write their pieces, they must also maintain a reflective log that explains their choices — what conventions they reject and why. This set of activities strives to move students into a much more difficult world of writing than we have traditionally ap- proached. The truth about writing is extremely hard to teach and as difficult to learn. But when students are shown the free- dom of expression within the simple act of writing, they also embrace a world of individual freedom, a gift more powerful than the credit they receive for the class. Students Struggle with Freedom When any teacher explains a set of activities, they appear neat and clean, not a blemish in sight. Yet in the classroom, all great plans are covered in warts.

My approach to liberating students within their writing and through their writing is a painful one, for both the students and me. My students have grown up in homes and in a town where conservative and fundamental attitudes are the norm, and their English classes have often por- trayed learning to read and write in similarly simplified language. The black-and-white world is much more design and technology gcse coursework manageable for every- one than the world of gray we live in. Therefore, allowing them discovery and building their trust in me as a writer and an expert on writing are extremely important.

Most students respond well after a few essays, especially af- ter they have success with their rewrites. Not only do their grades improve, but they also often feel prouder of their work because of the time and energy invested and because they develop a deeper understanding of their own ideas. By the end of the first quarter, 0 - 153 - 181 SUPPORTING PRACTICES almost all of my students have come to trust that I have been honest with them and that the approaches and attitudes I have fostered will be successful in any classroom or real-world setting. Some students never trust me, and some never attempt the required rewriting sched- ule.

Under those circumstances, they have learned that writing is not a central concern of the English classroom.

As the year passes, those students fall so far behind tfreir classmates that recovery is virtually impossible. One major factor in this failure is lack of student motivation. If a student does not want to learn to write — or even to write at all — a class in which all grading depends on writing is an instant trap for failure. Yet I have found over sixteen years that my students go on to thrive in college writing situations. They are praised by their pro- fessors, and they have much greater confidence as writers and thinkers than many of their college-level peers.

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The open-ended workshop approach to teaching writing is our best essay help forum hope for fos- tering independent young writers. My activities are grounded in a belief that when young people face the chaotic and relative nature of lan- guage and the world, they are better able to take control of their own lives and better able to contribute to the good of society. Ultimately, teachers of writing must decide whether the goal of 2 - 154 - Being Honest about Writing and Individual Freedom our work is to inculcate grammar rules that are at best debatable and are certainly temporal, or whether the goal is to empower and free our students through language.

Further, I contend that linear thinking and behavioristically grounded instruction produce a false appearance of being edu- cated. Gardner (1991, 1999) argues for learning for understand- ing. If students are allowed to experiment with the open-ended nature of the writing process and writing forms while they are mentored by supportive teachers, they are more likely to design and technology gcse coursework attain an who can help me write an essay awareness and an understanding of writing that is applicable in their personal and professional growth. Again, we can indoc- trinate and demand memorization of rules, assessing with gram- mar text-type tests, but what will that accomplish? In addition, this approach draws heavily on the more recent reevaluation of the writing process as a chaos model (Weaver 1996, 83). The process steps themselves — brainstorming, draft- ing, rewriting, formatting — are valid and effective tools for teach- ing. What Weaver and others are arguing is that those steps occur design and technology gcse coursework simultaneously and chaotically as a piece is being prepared. A writer brainstorms initially, of course, but format and purpose are often in mind during that initial stage.

Also, as a writer pro- duces a first or second draft, further brainstorming is occurring, and issues of format and organization arise as the work appears on the page. Ultimately, such activities must incorporate our current but ever-changing understanding of language acquisition. The work of Pinker (1994, 1999) shows that how young people acquire language is still greatly debated. When writing instruction is primarily imposed, we are wasting student time and crushing their will to learn and their opportunities for empowerment. When writing instruction springs from the students themselves, the possibilities are endless. Since our understandings shift constantly, teaching methodologies must be flexible, open-ended enough to allow for instruction to shift as our knowledge of language acquisition grows. We are left with experimenting with the student-centered, open-ended approaches to fostering writing in our students. Works Cited - 156 - ERIC Being Honest about Writing and Individual Freedom Gardner, Howard. The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think and How Schools Should Teach. The Disciplined Mind: What All Students Should Under- stand. Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom.

The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language. Chapter Seventeen O ERIC Conflicting Voices in the Classroom: Developing Critical Consciousness lthough I teach at a large university set in a metropolitan area, many of my students come from surrounding rural counties that are relatively insulated.

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