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Preconference Workshop

EATAW 2011 Pre-Conference Workshop

Tuesday, June 28, 2011, 2:00-4:00 PM

Giving Students a Voice to Shape Pedagogy

Pedagogical theorists and educators, like Paolo Freire and John Dewey, have long questioned the traditional teacher-student dichotomy.  They, and others since them, place the teacher in the role of teacher-learner and the student in the role of learner-teacher.  Negotiating these slippery roles effectively, however, is not easy.

As teachers, we are the “experts.”  Through our education, experience, and research, we possess the expertise to determine what to present to students and how.  Yet, if students are actually to be learner-teachers (and we are to be teacher-learners)--if they are to have a role in shaping their academic experience--they must have a voice. But how do we give them one?  How do we create structures or situations that, first, provide them with the space to articulate to us their academic writing needs, expectations, and desires, and, second, allow them to participate actively in their academic experience?  And once we have their feedback, how do we function as teacher-learners and incorporate it into our pedagogy, so that their feedback truly shapes their academic experiences?  Finally, how do we assess that contribution in meaningful ways?

In this workshop, we will explore practical ways of tapping into student knowledge and expertise, and of implementing useful feedback in interactions among students and between teachers and students.

This session will be led by Leigh Ryan (University of Maryland, College Park) and Lisa Zimmerelli (Loyola University Maryland), coauthors of  The Bedford Guide for Writing Tutors, 5th ed. (Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martins, 2010).  Both have extensive experience as teachers, writing tutors, writing center directors, and scholars in secondary and higher education. They have previously presented at EATAW, WDHE, and EWCA, as well as CCCC, IWCA, NCTE and other conferences on theory and practice in teaching writing and writing centers. Their individual work with European writing programs, as well as writing programs in other parts of the world, has been published in professional journals and books.

Leigh Ryan, Ph.D.
University of Maryland
College Park, MD USA

Lisa Zimmerelli, Ph.D.
Loyola University Maryland
Baltimore, MD USA

Places on this workshop are limited to 30 participants. To reserve a place, please register at