Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Summary of the SNL Faculty CCW Presentations

From left: Kathryn Wozniak, Michelle Navarre Cleary, Steffanie Triller Fry, and Kamilah Cummings
On October 17, four SNL faculty members presented at the Conference on Community Writing in Boulder, CO. As part of the SNL Writing Team's overall theme "Teaching in Situ": Sustaining Post-Traditional Student Voices In & Out of the Chicago Writing Classroom, Kamilah Cummings presented on the topic of linguistic diversity. In her presentation titled, "Listening to be Heard: Embracing Multilingualism and Empowering Post-Traditional Learners," she drew from research and her own experiences to share strategies for supporting these learners in the writing classroom. Ultimately, the purpose of her presentation was to encourage faculty to explore their own perceptions and awareness of linguistic diversity to help create a more inclusive learning experience where students themselves can be sensitized to different language varieties as well as feel empowered to navigate their own linguistic identities.

In "Engaging Faculty in Community-Based Writing: Strategies and Challenges," Michelle Navarre Cleary acknowledged the advantages we have at DePaul because we can link community-based learning directly to the university and our college’s mission, because of the support of the Stean’s Center, and because the scholarship of teaching and learning is valued in our context. For many at this conference, these advantages were only dreamed of. She then led a discussion of ways to help faculty imagine opportunities for community-based learning, including taking faculty on field trips to potential community-based sites, inviting community-based educators to talk with faculty, and co-teaching with community activists.

In Steffanie Triller Fry's presentation, "Write Where You Are: Not Where I Want You To Go," she discussed the ways that using place-as-prompt can situate adult students as experts, position them to create new knowledge with their writing, and invite them to write for an authentic audience and purpose. She used the example of her place-based Advanced Elective course "Write Where You Are: Writing About the Places We Live," and discussed examples from students who have created new knowledge about the world they live in by starting with place as prompt. Click here to view her Prezi.

In "Digital Storytelling and the New Public Square," Kathryn Wozniak discussed the affordances of Web 2.0 and the storytelling process for adult learners to explore change and social justice in their settings, while also exploring their narrative identity and personal transformation. The combination of social media, web design, graphic design, and documentary tools give adult learners the opportunity to tell stories that bring together their often compartmentalized aspects of their experience and identity, and engage in a dialogue with others in a way that is both accessible and dynamic.

For more information about any of these presentations, please contact SNLwriting@depaul.edu.

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