Posts

blogbook -- Considering the Nature of Our Models of Good Writing

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Entry 33 A big part of using any set of literacy standards or learning outcomes in a classroom are the models used to demonstrate such things to students. Sometimes the models are dictated by required curricula and sometimes they’re chosen by teachers. An antiracist orientation would help a teacher to consider the nature and histories of their models of “good writing” in ways that implicate the models and teachers in white supremacist and racist systems, even as many of us are required to use those models in our classrooms as teaching devices. The kind of antiracist orientation I’m speaking of in effect asks: Who does the model represent in society and our classroom? How is that representation, and the habits of language it assumes, connected to the history of racism and WLS in society? Who is that ideal embodied languageling that the model invokes or conjures and what are its effects when circulated in our classroom? How do we (teachers and students) make sure that we do not reproduce

Blogbook -- Confronting the Borderlands of the Language Race War

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Entry 32 Let’s return to the CCSS, and drill down a level to the grade-specific standards that the anchor standard L.11-12.1 (from post 30 ) is translated into. Through the details, we might see ways to teach through such outcomes that may be demanded of literacy teachers at both the secondary and postsecondary levels. Many of us teachers are required to use such universal standards or outcomes. The grade-level standards L.11-12.1.A and L.11-12.1.B are articulated for only eleventh and twelfth grades. And they are the more specific outcomes for classrooms. According to these two standards, eleventh and twelfth grade students should be able to do the following: “Apply the understanding that usage is a matter of convention, can change over time, and is sometimes contested” (L.11-12.1.A); and “Resolve issues of complex or contested usage, consulting references (e.g., Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage , Garner's Modern American Usage ) as needed” (L.11-12.1.B).  Standa

Blogbook -- A First Look at the WPA Outcomes

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Entry 31 A portion of this post was used in my Oct 1, 2021 keynote at the 2021 Conference for Antiracist Teaching, Language, and Assessment ( www.atlaconf.com ). To engage with the conference's materials and participants, see its ongoing forums: https://atlaconf.freeflarum.com/ .  Now, how might the WPA Outcomes Statement (OS) unintentionally participate in white language supremacy (WLS) in college writing classrooms? While surely most postsecondary teachers have more control over how they teach literacy and how they evaluate and grade student writing, the OS still exerts a powerful disciplinary pressure on college writing classrooms. It’s been an important artifact in the field of college writing studies and writing program administration for at least twenty years, starting with a listserv posting in 1996 by Ed White, a long-time grandfather of college writing assessment ( note 199 ). The OS has been through three formal revisions since it was first drafted, most recently in 2014.