What Can Thinking and Writing Do For You?

The April 2009 issue of OnTask:Newsletter of the Keene State College Writing Task Force, remains a useful resource for faculty teaching Thinking and Writing as well as for faculty teaching courses in Integrative Studies and in academic programs. Here is the introduction to the issue by the Coordinator of the Writing Task Force, Phyllis Benay:

Dear Colleagues,

Even though you have not heard from the Task Force on Writing for awhile, we continue to meet and wrestle with the same issue that has deeply engaged the members of this group for the past thirteen years: how can we all become better teachers of writing.

This semester, much of our conversation has led us to the Thinking and Writing course as we found ourselves wondering how much our colleagues know about the nuts and bolts of ITW.

For example, do we all understand the underlying philosophy and purpose of the course? Are we all familiar with what students are asked to accomplish in the curriculum? Has there
been enough explanation about how the course introduces students to writing and research in the academic setting? Perhaps the most important point of this inquiry into ITW is that the more we all know about the course, the more we can continue to build on students’ newlyacquired skills. Most agree that learning requires not only continued reinforcement, but increased degrees of challenge if that learning is to become integrated and internalized. If we are to successfully build students’ writing skills on the foundation that is ITW, then it becomes imperative that we understand the component parts of this foundation.

Based on these conversations, the Task Force decided to gather information about the course from a variety of perspectives with two purposes in mind: the first is to familiarize you with both the philosophy and the practice of ITW and the second is to create a bridge between ITW and your curricula. Ultimately, the course exists to serve not only our students, but to serve you as well.

You can read the articles by Becky Dunn (Health Science), Rosemary Gianno (Anthropology), Sara Hottinger (Philosophy and Women’s Studies), Mark Long (English), Kirsti Sandy (English), Mark Timney (Journalism), Katherine Tirabassi (English), Wanda Swiger (Physical Education), and Susan Whittemore (Biology). You will also find a useful piece featuring the Center for Writing Student Liaisons with ITW (Kate Curtis, Ben Hall, Jamie Comeau, Karah Dunn, Josh Starkey, Ellen Estabrook, Russel Stepa), edited by former assistant director of the Center, Collie Fulford. The full issue can be read by clicking here: OnTask (April 2009)

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