Tuesday, August 22, 2017

English 101 and 099 - Fall 2017

Syllabus Links:

Braided Approach

Richard A. Gale describes "braided practice" as work that combines pedagogy with scholarship to produce not only excellence in teaching, but a systematic contribution to the institutional understanding of learning.  "For when disciplinary knowledge, pedagogical expertise and scholarly inquiry are combined, not just in tandem but entwined,  connected with and reinforcing each other, they become a braided practice that is stronger, more coherent and more likely to lead to the kind of teaching that will in turn lead to significantly improved student learning" (from "Chapter 2: Braided Practice" in International Perspectives on Teaching Excellence in Higher Education, ed. Alan Skelton, 2007).  He describes a "cycle of inquiry," wherein instructors follow up their questions about student learning with investigations that often cross the lines of disciplines.

For a long time, I've been working on a pedagogy that I considered as the "braided syllabus," but I was unfamiliar with works by Gale and others.  My conception of "braiding" has been very different, less centered on a cycle of research and more centered upon the pragmatics of instructional goals: assembling a syllabus that would weave together lessons on grammar and style with lessons about research and lessons on cultural issues.  I like using the term "braided" to describe this interweaving of lesson goals, but I hesitate to use this term given its established meaning in prior scholarship.