Writing (and Thinking and Blogging) across the curriculum
Every so often I hear of some initiative being supported by part of the faculty. The creation of a new Redaction Center.
Because students do not seem to master their own native language.
Do you think after 12 years of non-speaking and non-writing their own native language students will at last learn it? While at College? What about the idea we are actually within a University? That school, high and low, is over? Do we really believe a Redaction Center will be the answer?
What I do support is *publishing* as creative writing across the curriculum. Students could be asked to do their publishing as soon they set foot on campus. Every year, in every class. They could publish into a blog –and domain– of their own. Our friend Jim Groom has explained that and has made of it a mantra, frequently well-heard all over the place, but here. When students are asked to write (and publish) across the curriculum so to create a portfolio of their expressions and interests and of their doings across their academic life –and beyond!–, they will have a strong motivation to do so. The blog is theirs!! Blogging is also a great way to develop a strong digital identity and to grow a reputation history on the Web.
I have been doing this in my classes for years now, and I found little interest from others to do so. Mind you, writing down is a system (proven, I swear!) to understand what you are thinking, when you’re thinking. So, it’s not only, writing across the curriculum, but thinking too!!! And this could be done starting from high school.
From Seth Godin comes a nice reflection on the great thing that is writing a blog. This complements quite well Gardner Campbell‘s idea of the centrality of blogging in education (see: Why Blogging Is Key to the Future of Higher Ed, Campus Technology, 27 May 2015).
Given this I wonder why colleges and schools –though complaining on students’ poor writing skills– don’t introduce a massive blogging-across-the-curriculum effort everywhere. Anyhow, here’s the quote from Seth Godin’s Read more blogs:
Other than writing a daily blog (a practice that’s free, and priceless), reading more blogs is one of the best ways to become smarter, more effective and more engaged in what’s going on. The last great online bargain.
Good blogs aren’t focused on the vapid race for clicks that other forms of social media encourage. Instead, they patiently inform and challenge, using your time with respect.
Here’s the thing: Google doesn’t want you to read blogs. They shut down their RSS reader and they’re dumping many blog subscriptions into the gmail promo folder, where they languish unread.
And Facebook doesn’t want you to read blogs either.
Let’s see what our Departments of Comparative Irrelevance will be concocting!