Kendall Center for Engaged Learning Gustavus has received national recognition for its curricular innovation in writing, which combines a strong Writing Across the Curriculum program—required writing intensive courses coupled with faculty development efforts—and a thriving College Writing Center. This combination of curricular efforts, faculty development, and peer support helps ensure that both students and faculty receive support for their work.
Two changes happened to motivate the need for college writing instruction. Firstly, as disciplines as divisions within academic studies and contemporary professions specialized, they developed their own specialized discourses.
Because these discourses were not merely the same as the everyday discourse of the upper classes, they had to be taught. Secondly, as college students became more diverse — first in terms of social background and, later, in terms of gender, race, and age — not all college students grew up speaking the accepted language of the academy.
Clearly, composition courses couldn't be about the content of the writing, because content was what the other disciplines taught. Composition, therefore, had to be about the form the writing took and so "writing" was reduced to mechanics and style.
Because of this reduced focus and because writing was addressed by composition, other disciplines assumed no responsibility for writing instruction; most students, then, were not taught to write in the context of their specialties.
As American education became increasingly skills-oriented following World War II — in part a reaction to the suffusion of universities with war veterans in need of job training, in part a result of modeling education after the efficiency of Fordian factory production — writing instruction was further reduced to a set of skills to be mastered.
Once correct that is, standard academic grammar, punctuation, spelling, and style were mastered — preferably before reaching the post-secondary level — there was no need for additional writing instruction save as remedial education.
This product-oriented, skills-focused paradigm of writing pedagogy began to change in the s with the popularization of James Britton and colleagues' expressivist school of composition, which said that students benefited from writing as a tool for self-expression and that focusing on technical correctness was damaging.
Janet Emig's article "Writing as a Mode of Learning," grounded in constructivist theories of educationsuggested that writing functioned as a unique and invaluable way for students to understand and integrate information.
Simultaneously, widespread media attention around college students' apparently decreasing writing proficiency more a product of the changing demographics of college students than an overt shift in teaching provoked institutions of higher learning to reevaluate and increase the amount of writing required of students.
Carleton College and Beaver College began what were probably the first contemporary WAC programs in andrespectively, with faculty workshops and writing requirements shared across disciplines.
WAC has also been part of the student-centered pedagogies movement student-centred learning seeking to replace teaching via one-way transmission of knowledge from teacher to student with more interactive strategies that enable students to interact with and participate in creating knowledge in the classroom.
Major theories[ edit ] WAC efforts are usually driven principally by one of two theories: Though both may be used together, one of the two theories generally guides any given writing assignment and, often, any given WAC course.
Writing to learn[ edit ] Writing to learn is also occasionally referred to as the expressivist or cognitive mode of WAC. Writing to learn assumes that being able to explain or express concepts in one's own words both builds and reflects understanding.
Because the goal of writing to learn exercises is learning rather than a finished writing product, instructors are discouraged from paying attention to grammar and surface mechanics. The student himself or herself, not the teacher, is the audience. Common writing to learn exercises include reading responses, journals, free writingand multiple forms of collaborative writing.
Writing in the disciplines[ edit ] Writing in the disciplines is also occasionally referred to as the transactional or rhetorical mode of WAC.
These writing standards include but are not limited to specialized vocabularies and particular genres. The different models for teaching WID classes are the following:Writing Across the Curriculum at Pittsburg State University grows out of the belief that writing is essential to a college education, that students learn how to write for their discipline by writing in their discipline, that faculty in each major are the best writing mentors for students in their majors, and that in addition to frequent.
Brief History of the Writing Across the Curriculum Movement (WAC) and the Writing in the Disciplines Movement (WID) Traditionally, writing instruction has been the responsibility of English departments in American universities, but the idea that writing could be used outside of the English department to teach course content became the foundation for .
Writing across the curriculum (WAC) is a movement within contemporary composition studies that concerns itself with writing in classes outside of composition, literature, and other English courses. According to a comprehensive survey performed in –, approximately half of American institutes of higher learning have something that can be identified as a WAC program.
Traditionally, writing instruction has been the responsibility of English departments in American universities, but the idea that writing could be used outside of the English department to teach course content became the foundation for the Writing Across the Curriculum movement (WAC) in the late s.
Writing Across the Curriculum Resources.
Guides to Writing Requirements for documenting written work, Science survival guide (prepared by the Biology Department) Biology Writing Guide; English - English guide to preparing essays about - Purdue Writing Center Electronic Handouts topics ranging from comma placement to research .
Writing Center conferences can address all sorts of expository writing — including drafts of class papers, resumes, reports, application essays, cover letters, seminar projects, dissertations, etc.
— for classes across the curriculum at all levels.