Democratizing composition: bringing together thoughts, people & resources
I’m increasingly concerned with democratizing composition, a pedagogy built on these beliefs:
- Writing is one form of composition or making, tantamount to the rest.
- All modes of composition are valid and valuable methods of expression.
- All modes of composition benefit from design thinking, rapid prototyping (a.k.a. repeated failure), iteration, and user feedback.
- The monopoly of text in schools impoverishes student learning, self-expression, and educators’ understandings of their students.
- Students and teachers should compose and make in response to learning.
- Composing and making should be fun or otherwise deeply fulfilling in a personally meaningful way to students and teachers.
- To borrow from the National Writing Project (NWP), teachers should compose and make with their students.
- User feedback determines whether or not a composition or product works and fulfills a need; grades are unnecessary, superfluous, and harmful to the work of composition and making.
Democratizing composition is a means to help…
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