TEACHING OUR STUDENTS TO ADVOCATE AND MINISTER, IN JESUS' NAME, THROUGH THEIR WRITINGS
MY VISION FOR STARTING UP A CENTER FOR COMPOSITION STUDIES THAT FOREGROUNDS ADVOCACY, MINISTERIAL, SOCIAL JUSTICE AND VISIONARY WRITING

AS COMPOSITION TEACHERS, WE CAN AND SHOULD TEACH OUR STUDENTS ABOUT THE POWER OF WRITING TO CHANGE THE WORLD AND ADVOCATE AGAINST SOCIAL AND INSTITUTIONAL INJUSTICES

As composition teachers, we can and should teach our students about the power of writing to change the world and advocate against social and institutional injustices.  As composition studies teachers who also work in cultural studies, we need to emphasize to our students that writing is so much, much more than correct grammar and learning the forms of writing -- teaching that focuses only on grammar and formulaic issues neglects and devalues the real power of writing in the real world to impact social change and to advocate for social, educational and institutional issues that are near and dear to our hearts and minds and the hearts and minds of our students.  We must always remember that our students have extensive histories in educational institutions prior to being in our composition classrooms (indeed, some of them very oppressive experiences) and that we can provide our students with opportunities to explore those experiences and histories in ways that allow our students to  imagine and suggest changing those institutions so that our teaching offers students opportunities to understand the power of writing to change the worlds that our students inhabit.  Writing that only focuses on grammar and the forms of writing is often oppressive to students and devalues their desire and need to write about the issues that are near and dear to their hearts and minds and devalues the ways writing is used and operates in the  real world to enact educational and institutional change.  We need to teach our students about the power of language and writing to effect and advocate for educational, social and institutional changes in their lives because this is the kind of writing that engages students in very meaningful and valuable reflection and action on what needs changed in the larger world beyond our classrooms.  More to come on these issues with writing for social, educational and institutional change on this blog in the future.  Again, these are the most valuable and meaningful issues in the teaching of writing in universities -- that is, teaching students to see the value and power of writing in enacting change and transformation in the worlds that they inhabit within and beyond university walls.  Sincerely, Diane K. Olson 

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)