Discussion of pedagogy readings. Alternative, digital and/or creative ways to explore these readings...

1. DebatesWhere’s the Pedagogy? The Role of Teaching and Learning in the Digital Humanities STEPHEN BRIER.
2. DebatesWhat’s Wrong with Writing Essays MARK L. SAMPLE
3. Multimodal Composition in Kairos, RACHEL RYERSON, Kairos 20.2
4. Can Information Be Unfettered? Race and the New Digital Humanities Canon AMY E. EARHART
5. Hactivism and the Humanities: Programming Protest in the Era of the Digital University ELIZABETH LOSH

A few comments about pedagogy: When we speak not just about "teaching," "lessons," or "learning" -- but about pedagogy, then we are introducing the concerns of learning within a theorized context. In other words, we want to think about why we are teaching certain material or using a particular approach; and we should consider not simply "content" but the broader purposes (implicit and explicit) that might be informing method.

Consider the writing teacher who assigns students to create an outline because it helps produce a five-paragraph essay, which is required on standardized tests. He or she is doing a certain kind of work, but we should not call it pedagogically grounded teaching! On the other hand, consider the teacher whose goal is to help students more skeptically assess web sites before referencing them in academic work in order that they become more "empowered citizens"; the teacher tasks students with choosing a topic of personal importance, locating three divergent websites, then evaluating and presenting rationale and conclusions to his/her peers.

Happily, teachers do not have to completely invent pedagogical goals for a a given assignment, week, or class. Typically, professional organizations and the institutions within which we teach set out certain frameworks. However, as self-reflective teachers in higher education, we are ultimately responsible for our own pedagogy (the values to which we are committed and the teaching methods by which we pursue them with students). For example, IUP like most contemporary universities sets out the following learning goals for students. The articulation is never perfect (and the uncritical reproduction of Capitalist ideology in the emphasis on measurable "outcomes" is problematic), but it certainly sets up a framework and implies priorities. Here is a parallel document of goals for college writing classes generated by the WPA (the Framework for Success in college writing emphasizes habits of mind like curiosity, openness, persistence, flexibility...). NCTE also has a statement on Multi-modal Literacies that has implications for teaching digital humanities. On a more ideological note, scholars such as Henry Giroux (interview) provide an ethical/political rationale for employing "critical pedagogy."

(And on a lighter note, here's a six-minute Youtube video on different approaches to composition (wearing hats)).

Homework: Blog two separate ideas for a "pedagogical intervention" mini-project. Be prepared to discuss them in class.



Syllabus Document - IUP

IUP Lesson Plan Format

Homework: Prepare for Pedagogical Presentations (Tuesday)