Writing in Education: Issues in Learning and Teaching

Course Description:

“Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know more” (Confucius). “The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms” (Socrates).

Across civilizations and centuries, scholars and sages have emphasized the centrality of language to our understanding and engagement in the world. Through language – speaking and listening, reading and writing – learners construct and organize what they know, elaborate on their knowledge with questions that propel new learning, and share their understandings with others. Educators use language for all these purposes, and also to initiate collaborations with families and colleagues, request resources for their students and classrooms, and evaluate and advocate educational policies and practices. Language is at the heart of many current controversies in American education, including: 1) defining “best practice” for identifying and assisting students who struggle with reading and writing; 2) deciding how to include different languages in the classroom; 3) identifying appropriate learning goals and optimal learning experiences for students whose first language is not English; and 4) connecting home and school languages to promote academic success in linguistically and culturally diverse classrooms.

In EECE 101, students study and practice some of the ways in which language is used to describe and promote learning in contemporary American education. Students engage in writing activities employed frequently by educational professionals, use academic vocabulary commonly applied in the field of education, and practice some of the ways that writing is used in education for classroom practice and pedagogy, analysis, and advocacy. Through varied in-class and at-home writing experiences, students reflect on how language shapes their personal learning experiences, structures classroom learning processes, and frames some of the current controversies in American education.

EECE 101 fulfills the College Writing 2 requirement and builds on the work of English 110 (College Writing 1) to teach the conventions of writing in the discipline of Education. In each section of this variable topics course, students develop writing skills that are required by the multi-disciplinary and applied nature of Education, including: reflection, description, analysis, and synthesis. Students develop an e-portfolio that documents their growth as writers and serves as a resource for their future studies related to Education.

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