Monday, May 5, 2014

The Never Ending Cycle


Have we lost our way or finally found it"?Is a statement or further more a question, that I believe that all traditional college students ask themselves. Specifically when they receive their first class syllabus, your not 100% sure or not if this new way of learning. Will be a hit or miss for you until you expedience it fully!!  

After spending an hour one day a week in the writers studio ; observing college writers in the process of writing essays. I've came to realize that I wasn't the only one that could relate to fish's statement. During my observations I have observed many times, students receiving their graded work back. With the comments of  a lot of editing errors are lost points because of grammar. 

 Noticing this has gave me the persecution that students aren't : 

High school teachers aren't spending enough time with the basics 
of grammar because.Under the assumption that High School 
students should already have are if not close to, or already have mastered.Theses skills in middle school or previous education.

High School teachers did spend  time with their students on grammar. Not to
the point where they could fully grasp the concept 100% to its full potential.

Fish mentioned in his article."But if I have no problem with alternative ways of teaching literature or history, how can I maintain (with ACTA) that there is only one way to teach writing? Easy. I totally agree with Fish and his statement, yes there should be multiple ways of teaching that is best fit for each classroom body. Especially when it comes to English because there's so much personal work already involved. But at what point does it become detrimental to students ? Is it a lost cause ? Because High School teachers are able to edit and tick what they please with wide guide lanes !    

The Hook

Writing gives new height.
In Dr. Fish’s article, “What should colleges teach? “ he discussed about how colleges should teach more on the posed question  by Patrick Sullivan which is, “ what is college writing”? He went more into detail on how students from high school are taught less effectively by secondary educators with writing skills. They don’t go more in depth and those students in high school come to colleges with the same basic knowledge and repeat it in college which results in failure. That results to failure because if those students are given a certain question presented to them, they wouldn’t fully answer it in a way that the teacher is looking for it to be answered.  Dr. Fish also talked about how those who read well, write well and he touched on sentence structure too. With sentence structure, Dr. Fish stated that organization is important. It plays a role for forming a sentence and with that sentence having a good structure, then every word would flow and not sound confusing because of bad formatting.  

Dr. Fish brought a question regarding high school students and those of earlier education and it was, “isn’t the mastery of forms something that should be taught in high school or earlier”? His argument towards that question was college teachers are left to carry the burden left by secondary educators who couldn't fully teach writing skills in depth. I agree with Dr. Fish’s argument because first year students that come into college don’t know what to expect for writing. There’s so much more than just a five paragraph essay, for example. A cycle is repeated and it takes the college teachers to stop the cycle and fix what has made the first year college students completely lost and confused on what college-level writing is.

I noticed that in a student writer whom I had to observe for eight weeks with his peer writing consultant at the The Writer's Studio for my  English class. The student writer needed guidance in the process of trying to write a paper, but in the start of writing his paper  he still had prior learning of what was taught to him of how writing should be like in a “college-level”. The problem with that was because he wasn't taught more in depth; he only knew very little of what college-level writing should be like. So with the help of his peer writing consultant, he started to get new knowledge and was starting to understand the posed question, “what is college-level writing"?  

When I noticed both the student writer and peer writing consultant working together, I saw a trend that was also occurring. That trend was making connections relating to the student writer’s paper.  In the eight week observations, the student writer and the peer writing consultant were going back and forth with resources that both collected for the paper. Those sources were secondary and primary sources. Each time the student writer was finding more information for his primary source, he found more information towards his secondary source.   That was one connection that was presented. I find this to be relatable to Dr. Fish’s sentence structure importance because of how the sources were worded. Dr. Fish mentioned in his article that a sentence is a structure of logical relationships. They connect with one another. In the case of the student writer’s paper, this happened quite often because both the primary source and secondary source had similar traits and had a relationship with one another due to both having the same information relating to the student writer’s topic.  

Throughout those observations, I started to realize that in college there are connections that are made in a paper. It doesn't it even have to be logical it can be personal too. Making connections is important in college writing because they bring the lost pieces to the puzzle in writing. Connections help with the reading and thinking for college also. They bring an strategy to help the student do better in their writing. 
WHOoo would care to show a connection in writing?