Wednesday, May 1, 2013

social pedagogies response

From Social Pedagogies:

Authentic Audience is not limited to external audiences outside of school (e.g. on the
Web), although that is certainly one powerful manifestation. Our first definition of an
authentic audience is that the primary audience for a students’ intellectual work is
someone other than the professor. What makes an audience ―authentic‖ for students is the
sense that something is as stake in sharing one’s ideas other than getting a grade. That
can be one’s fellow students (but not always) and it can be the teacher (though not
usually without some effort). Consequently, the role of authentic audience in social
pedagogies often changes the meaning of assessment in a course, situating the criteria for
excellence in a broader context beyond a private transaction between teacher and student.
This dimension of authentic audience includes:

  • Intellectual community as experienced inside and outside the classroom
  • A sense of shared responsibility for knowledge or action
  • A sense of accountability for one’s knowledgeThe ability to listen and engage
  • Understanding “assessment” as communal standards of excellence, professional
  • norms, and values
The student journal I'm working on is one way to establish an authentic audience between classes and student levels in adult literacy classes.  I'm planning to design lesson plans teachers can use in their lab hours to interact with the online student journal, so that a true intellectual community can grow around students' submissions.  The lesson plans will focus on three stages of interaction with the journal:  1)  drafting a submission focused on this issue's "identity"  them, 2) the art of responding to peers' ideas in comment format below the published submissions, and 3) depending on the issues and questions explored in students' submissions, I might write a lesson plan for a "letter to the editors" activity responding to one question or idea.

Since the journal will be public, it really should be part of a larger, authentic community of writers, outside the classroom and instructors.  However, given the range of form, content and style in our students' writing, there will have to be more of a continuum of assessment standards, rather than a set of standards implicitly shared by writers with more heterogeneous experience, background and expertise. Here's a pdf of the last edition.

4 comments:

  1. This is a wonderful point: "...given the range of form, content and style in our students' writing, there will have to be more of a continuum of assessment standards, rather than a set of standards implicitly shared by writers with more heterogeneous experience, background and expertise." Assessment and evaluation are always tricky, given how fraught they are with issues of context, location, audience, expectation, subjectivity, and ultimately, socio-economic power. I've struggled with grading and "standards" throughout my teaching career, especially here at LaGuardia. One way I've started to finesse the issue is to tell my composition students to evaluate work as "effective" or "less effective" instead of "right" or "wrong." Although this is still problematic, it's closer to how communication works in real life, as a matter of rhetorical context instead of "pass" or "fail."

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  2. By having students from various classes use the student publication “The Next Chapter”, you are reaching far with using the text as a multifaceted learning and teaching opportunity. It’s a powerful way of demonstrating to students that their work is valuable, that their writing will be examined and scrutinized by others, and for those who have not yet published, it represents a tangible opportunity to do so. Definitely a great example of using the concept of audience for deep engagement with writing, revision, editing, reading, and discussion.

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  3. I really like what you're doing here also (+1!) :) At any point when we can create these spaces, whether it be through activities, projects, or online spaces like the journal you've put together. I feel it's something we don't do enough of in higher education, without this connection to the 'real', how can we expect students to completely engage in the process, taking it from formalized education to connecting outside of our institutional doors.

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  4. As you'd expect from a comm studies guy, I am echoing what Mark says here. I'm not sure, but it may be easier for us in communication to develop these real activities, but it's something that everyone should strive for. Good work.

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