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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: October ::
2 Gents on pinkmonkey
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1887  Friday, 15 October 2004

From:           sms <
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Date:           Thursday, 14 Oct 2004 18:32:55 -0700
Subject: 15.1875 2 Gents on pinkmonkey
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1875 2 Gents on pinkmonkey

Norman Hinton wrote

 >English teachers have endured this sort of thing for many years -- the
 >faculty in other departments complain that students don't know grammar
 >and syntax -- we ask if they ever mark grammatical and syntactic errors
 >in student papers, and they say "Who, us ?  WE'RE not English teachers!"

The high school district in which I work has adopted a program for
Writing Across the Curriculum, that ensures all teachers will include
writing assignments as part of their curriculum (math, dance, art, PE,
every single class) but allows for the assignments to be graded
according to the dictates of each curriculum and the strengths of the
teacher (i.e. I tell the students what my Focused Correction Areas will
be, and I stick to them - sometimes it includes spelling and grammer,
but usually it revolves around the expression of ideas and support
details on the topic).  I wouldn't want my son's PE or shop teacher
grading his "grammar, syntax, diction, spelling and all that boring
stuff"; I have talked to enough teachers to know that getting a degree
in education does not ensure any expertise in 'those' areas!Sometimes
students need to be allowed to express themselves in writing (and
discover the joy of writing) without feeling like they'll be censured
for technical mistakes of writing conventions.   And writing conventions
are only ONE of the six, equally-weighted writing traits on which
students in Arizona are graded: 1-Ideas and Content, 2-Organization,
3-Voice, 4-Word Choice, 5-Sentence Fluency, and 6-Conventions.  Not
every one of these traits needs to be addressed in every single writing
assignment.

That's why I feel comfortable with my decision to allow them to write
from their heart and ignore the conventions IN THIS ONE INTERNET ASSIGNMENT.

I hope that makes things clear.

And thanks to Cheryl Newton for your support!

Susan St. John

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