About English 306

Dr. Leah Zuidema

Dordt College,
Fall 2011
T/Th in CL 1302
Section 1 meets 9:25-10:40; Section 2 meets 11:00-12:15

Welcome to English 306, a writing workshop for pre-service teachers. In this course, we will focus on developing your writing and your understanding of concepts, strategies, and processes related to writing and writing instruction.

Much of what you learn will be by doing, so there will be many writing projects and activities. Along with the work of writing, we will also study about writing through readings, discussions, and activities. Through the writing as well as through the “meta” work about the writing, we will explore a few deceptively simple questions:

  • What do writers do? What processes and strategies do experienced writers use? How do writers learn to write in new genres and for new audiences, purposes, and situations?
  • What kinds of writing do teachers do? What kinds of writing do teachers need to know about? What does it mean to know a type of writing or the work of a writer?
  • When is writing “good,” and how do we know? Who decides?
  • What can/should we do with or through our writing? And how can/should we respond to others’ writing—especially in our role as teachers?
  • How do educational perspectives and technologies shape writing practices and beliefs? How are ethical and biblical perspectives related to writing and writing education?

In order to develop thoughtful, informed answers to these questions, I will regularly ask you to discuss your in-process and polished work and to participate in small-group discussions and activities. Our work toward answering the course questions should inform your understanding of writing and writing education at applied, theoretical, and evaluative levels. Upon completion of English 306, you should be able to (1) demonstrate your knowledge about writing through practice and reflection, (2) offer in-depth answers to the focus questions, and (3) critique and respond constructively to approaches to writing that you encounter.

This course is appropriate for all pre-service secondary, middle school, or elementary teachers—across the disciplines—who expect writing to play a significant role in their professional work inside or outside of the classroom. English 306 meets requirements for students in the elementary, middle school, and secondary level teacher education programs with a major, minor, or specialization in English language arts. It also meets requirements for elementary education students working toward a minor in reading.



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Created January 3, 2006
Updated August 22, 2011

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