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WI Greater Madison Writing Project Offers University First Year Writing Programs/High School English Teachers Symposium:

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Nov 18, 2015
Posted by: Jsinger2

WI Greater Madison Writing Project Offers University First Year Writing Programs/High School English Teachers Symposium:

This is another program that was at the idea stage this time last year that has come to fruition. In January 2015 we hosted what we hope will be the first of our annual symposiums in partnership with the UW-Madison English Department. The event drew over 100 writing instructors from local middle and high schools, UW-Madison, UW-Rock Valley, Edgewood College, and Madison Area Technical College, as well as undergraduate pre-service teacher candidates from UW-Madison and Edgewood College. The goals of the symposium were to bringing together diverse audiences of teachers to learn from and with one another, discuss effective and innovative teaching practices, and the share insight into the writing expectations of students at the various levels. (A flyer and program from the day are attached.)

 

The program for the day consisted of three panel discussions, facilitated small group table discussions after each panel, and a planning/collaboration time at the end of the day. Each panel consisted of a local high school English teacher (all GMWP alumni), a first year writing instructor in the English Department at UW-Madison, a UW-Madison Writing Center director or faculty member teaching in the teacher preparation/licensing programs at UW-Madison or Edgewood College, and first year writing instructor from the UW Technical College system or the UW two-year campus. Each small group table discussion consisted of a similar mix so that the discussion could focus on better understanding standards/outcomes, pedagogy, and assessment at the various levels represented.

 

The feedback on the day was overwhelmingly positive and has led to continued discussion with the English Department and Writing Center about expanding the symposium to two or three days this coming year. We have just begun those discussions, but the tentative plan at this time it to host a similar panel/discussion day for our first event, followed by a second day a month later that would focus in on teaching and assessment of specific topics (multi-modal literacies, argumentative writing, literary analysis, etc.).