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Peer-Driven Learning in the Writing Classroom

Presentation for the Writing Eastern Kentucky Conference, November 2, 2013

Lee Skallerup Bessette

on 3 September 2013

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Transcript of Peer-Driven Learning in the Writing Classroom

Foundation Drive Phase 1 Phase 2 Results Learning, Making, Playing...
Doug Thomas and John Seely Brown, in their book, A New Culture of Learning, emphasize that learning moving forward needs to be collaborative and involve knowing, making, and playing:

"When we build, we do more than create content. Thanks to new technologies, we also create context by building within a particular environment, often providing links or creating connections and juxtapositions to give meaning to content."

"Unlike traditional notions of learning, which position the learner as a passive agent of reception, the aporia/epiphany structure of play makes the player's agency central to the learning process." Why Peer-Driven Learning?
It starts with Paulo Freire
The Banking Concept of Education
What Motivates Students? According to Dan Pink, there are three concepts that lead to our motivation: Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose. Peer-Driven Learning For peer-driven learning to work, you must have two things:

1) A Strong Framework
2) Clear Learning Outcomes

Doug Thomas uses the image of the Petri dish: set boundaries with a nutrient-rich environment for the students to flourish and grow. Next, within the framework you set up, the students take the wheel. Essential to the process:

1) Negotiate
2) Collaborate
3) Reflect

Your role as teacher becomes more like a coach and facilitator. ENG 200 Projects Success in the Writing Classroom "Education thus becomes an act of depositing, in which the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor. Instead of communicating, the teacher issues communiques and makes deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize, and repeat...Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other." Authentic Writing = Better Writing Cathy Davidson, in her book, Now You See It, writes how she observed that her students wrote better in their blogs and other forms of public writing for their peers than in "formal" essays.

"What if bad writing is a product of the form of the writing required by school - the term paper - and not necessarily intrinsic to a student's natural writing style or thought process? I hadn't thought of that until I read their lengthy weekly blogs and saw the difference in quality. If students are trying to figure out what kind of writing we want in order to get a good grade, communication is a secondary point of the writing. What if "research paper" is a catergory that invites, even requires, linguistic and syntactic gobbledegook? Further Resources https://sites.google.com/site/ismangoodorevil/ Ken Bain, What The Best College Teachers Do:

"Give students as many opportunities to use their reasoning abilities as they tackle fascinating problems and receive challenges to their thinking. Ask them to consider the implications of their reasoning, implications for themselves, for the way they view the world..." http://collegereadywriting.blogspot.com/p/peer-driven-learning.html
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