pedagogy

Contemplative Pedagogy: Going Deeper

Tweet This post is part of an ongoing series on contemplative practices in the writing classroom. It is about the absence of language as much as language itself. Following a challenging autumn, during which we had a terrible hurricane, a contentious election, and the shootings at Newtown in which little children were mowed down with […]

Contemplative Pedagogy: Activating the Imagination

Tweet This post is one of a series on contemplative pedagogy, where the subject is as much the absence of language as language itself. In an essay writing class, a fictionalizing imagination is not necessary, but students must think of everyday events and reactions in new ways, and must link these events and reactions to […]

Contemplative pedagogy: Disrupting time

Tweet This is one of an ongoing series of posts on contemplative pedagogy. It focuses on lack of language rather than on language itself. One of the bugabears of essay writing is making too many assumptions, from “everybody” thinks this, to “My father never uses swearwords.”  One of the challenges of the writing teacher is […]

Concentration, not Meditation

Tweet My class has asked (by vote of 19-1) for regular meditation exercises. We do them once a week. I will document those in subsequent posts, but yesterday we did a variation — a concentration exercise. A case could be made that because of multi-tasking and the constant electronic intrusion into their lives, students rarely […]

The ideal writing class

Tweet I asked my class today what the ideal writing class would be like.  I haven’t analyzed all that they said, but was surprised by a couple of comments in our class discussion. 1.  They hate peer review, find it useless.  I agree, as presently structured (though I don’t follow the recommended structures).  They do […]

Slowing down the class

Tweet Research has shown (as if we needed much research to know this!) that some students process questions slower than others.  This may be for a variety of reasons, among them that the student may be an introvert or shy, or may be a detailed thinker who wants to pause over certain parts of a […]

Contemplative pedagogy.

Tweet Several major universities and other centers are developing curricula which include contemplative and meditation practices. My own university, Montclair State University, is developing a center of its own, and I have been invited to be a Fellow in the group that will investigate including contemplative practices into our own courses.  I have written several […]

Online education

Tweet California is pushing many entry-level college courses online.  I have so much to say about this that I don’t know where to begin. I teach writing.  The parts of the class which always, always engage the students most vividly are group work, critiquing other students’ papers, individual conferences, and class discussions.  Taking those away would […]

The jumbled-up conditional, er, modals

Tweet My French textbook, French Reference Grammar (1993), has an index entry for the “conditional,” and in the section devoted to it, calls it “the mood of verbs tied to a condition.” My Greek grammar, Greek: A Comprehensive Grammar of the Modern Language (1997) also has a section on the conditional mood. My English grammar, […]

Sports writing

Tweet A few years ago I was having coffee with a friend who worked at the time at The New York Times. We agreed that some of the best writing on the newspaper could be found on the sports page. Nothing earthshaking happens in sports –the player hits the baseball “out of the park” or […]