In my estimation, what has been most critical to my own development as a teacher and to the articulation of my pedagogy has been the working groups, and both formal and informal collaborations that I have participated in. Below, I have listed some of the groups I have been involved with and indicated the work we did together that has contributed to my own growth as a student of teaching.
Service Learning Advisory Board, California State University, San Marcos
As a member of the Service Learning Advisory Board, I participated in developing workshop opportunities for faculty to promote the use and theorizing of service learning at the CSU campus, participated in those workshops, and was a reader for grant proposals for funding to implement service learning projects. This experience enabled me to see pedagogies from across the disciplines, interact with faculty of various experience levels, and learn to evaluate pedagogical practices in general.
Principal Investigator: Dr. David Russell
As the research assistant developing the online Agriculture Writing resource tool, AgComm (http://www.ag.iastate.edu/grants/home.html), I worked closely with instructors from both Composition and Agricultural Education to identify best practices and resources for writing in general, and writing in professional Agriculture specifically.
Writing Class, Working Group on Incorporating Labor and Class into the Writing Curriculum, University of Arizona
This working group discussed the necessity and opportunities for integrating issues of class and labor into composition courses. We workshopped curricula, did theoretical reading, gathered and exchanged reading materials and summaries for use in our courses, and developed the beginnings of a web resource for this work http://www.u.arizona.edu/~danika/resources/writeclass.html.
Working Group on Service Learning in Composition, University of Arizona
Chair: Dr. Tom Miller
Dr. Miller organized a group of GAT's who were interested in exploring the possibilities for utilizing service learning in composition curriculum and to seek institutional support for these activities. As a member of this working group, I participated in collaborative discussions on curriculum and theoretical issues, listserv conversations, and co-authored a proposal for a quarter-time service learning coordinator in the composition program. The work of this group also resulted in a useful resource site on the Composition Program's website and continued participation in campus-wide initiatives for service learning.
Collaboration with Roxanne Mountford, English 102 Curriculum and
New Technologies Grant to develop OldPuebloMOO,
University of Arizona
Principal Investigator: Dr. Roxanne Mountford
As Roxanne Mountford's research assistant and collaborator, I helped design, develop, and implement the university's polysynchronous online learning environment, OldpuebloMOO (http://oldpueblomoo.arizona.edu/). We developed the site to be based on the Tucson communit(ies), incorporating history and cultural features. The environment was designed to incorporate a pedagogy of place throughout. At the same time, Dr. Mountford and I designed a composition curriculum based on local history and community. We each piloted a section of the course in the fall utilizing OldPuebloMOO and in the spring made revisions and began assessment projects on both the course and the environment. The MOO continues to be utilized extensively in a variety of courses and serves as a site where instructors share pedagogical concerns and innovations. Out of my work on this project, I presented an online conference paper titled “MOO Potential: Perspectives and Assessment Guiding Design” for Computers and Writing Online Conference (2000). Additionally, one of my students (Anne Bartlett) and I collaborated on a paper delivered at the DUETs online conference: “The MOO Made Us Do It: Utilizing a Critical Theory of Technology to Enact Critical Pedagogy: A Collaborative Analysis of MOO Technology in A Composition Classroom.”
Southwest Project, University
Director: Dr. Robert MacArthur (past); Stuart Glogoff and Garry Forger (current)
The Southwest Project seeks to find ways to incorporate university generated research and local resources into all levels of teaching, joining the research, outreach, and teaching missions of the university. It is a program which generates a great deal of sharing of work across disciplines, and which fosters interesting collaborations between disciplines as well as between the university and community. I have participated in the Southwest Project since 1998, with the MOO and 102 curriculum, attending workshops and presentations of others' work, and most recently by coordinating a panel on Service Learning for the Southwest Project's regular meeting.
Profcomm: An Online
Professional Communication Curriculum and Resources, University of Arizona
Principal Investigators: Dr. Tom Miller and Dr. Ken McAllister
As a research assistant on the development team for Profcomm
(http://www.ic.arizona.edu/~profcomm) an online resources, curriculum, and course delivery for Business and Technical Writing at the University of Arizona, I collaborated with colleagues on issuesof pedagogical concern. We had extensive workshops and discussion sessions on curriculum issues, computer pedagogy, distance learning, and the goals of professional communication instruction. We analyzed resources pertaining to both professional communication teaching and technologies for course delivery. Additionally, we presented our materials to other instructors, faculty, and community partners. We continue to work together on design and delivery issues, as well as critically assessing the work we are doing with this project.
Connecting Community and Academic
Activism workshops to create community/university partnerships
Principal Investigator: Danika Brown
Funded by the Corporation for National Service.
I was awarded a year long grant from the Corporation for National Service
to develop an articulated methodology for creating community-university partnerships
and collaboration, specifically in the area of service learning (http://www.u.arizona.edu/~danika/prof/cns/nsf.html
). In developing this methodology, I launched a local pilot project with University
of Arizona instructors and community organization leaders. The project entailed
my meeting and collaborating with both groups on developing curricular
approaches, specific curricular resources, and other support in order for pilot partnerships to be carried out. I facilitated one-on-one meetings, correspondence, and group workshops over the course of the fall semester and the beginning of the spring semester. I created web-based resources to support our collaborative work and continue to develop partnerships with instructors, researchers, and community leaders based on these workshops. In addition, the project enabled me to participate in local conferences and meetings such as the "Fundamental Controversies/Spring Conference" hosted by the University of Arizona's Composition Board for local English instructors from all educational institutions and Dr. Don Grant's "Getting Engaged: A Community Partnership Conference" designed to bring together instructors from UA, Pima, and TUSD to discuss service learning potential at our institutions. The fellowship resulted in the publication of a nationally distributed monograph: Pulling it Together: A Method for Creating Service-Learning Partnerships Based in Critical Pedagogy (http://www.etr.org/nsrc/pdfs/fellows/brown.pdf).