Posts Tagged ‘Emerging’

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A Sequence on Sequencing: How? (Part III)

posted: 4.1.15 by Barclay Barrios

There is one more approach to sequencing you can use.  I don’t tend to use because, well, I think you’ll see…

We’ve included nine sequences in Emerging, many with options built in for alternate readings and assignments.  So a third method of making your “own” sequence is to modify one of the sequences that’s in Emerging. [read more]

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Barclay Barrios, Emerging
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A Sequence on Sequencing: How? (Part II)

posted: 3.25.15 by Barclay Barrios

Last time I talk about forming a sequence around a particular reading, but one of the things I love most about this approach to my teaching is that it allows me to respond to things going on in the world right now.  And so a second approach to sequencing is to start with a current event or topic and then build a sequence that explores that issue.  Not only does this method help students to see how what we do in the classroom connects to the world around them but it also offers me the chance to bring in any number of small supplemental texts from the media. [read more]

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Barclay Barrios, Emerging, Pedagogy
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A Sequence on Sequencing: How? (Part I)

posted: 3.18.15 by Barclay Barrios

Last post I talked about why I choose to sequence assignments.  In the next several posts I’d like to offer some techniques I’ve found useful in designing sequences so that you can create your own.

One of the methods I use is reading centered.  I start with a reading I really want to teach and then I build out the sequence from there.  Given the shape of our semester we can usually cover four readings.  I like to use the following pattern for assignments: [read more]

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Barclay Barrios, Emerging, Pedagogy
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A Sequence on Sequencing: What and Why?

posted: 3.11.15 by Barclay Barrios

I chose a sequencing approach to the assignments in Emerging.  I thought it might be useful to talk a little bit about why I made that decision, so over the next few posts I hope to offer you an introduction to assignment sequencing—and also some tips on how to make your own sequences.  [read more]

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Barclay Barrios, Emerging, Pedagogy
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Assignment Sequences and Intellectual Labor

posted: 3.4.15 by Barclay Barrios

Work on Emerging 3e is, thankfully, coming to a close.  Don’t let anyone ever, ever tell you that writing a textbook is easy.  It’s much more work than I ever imagined.

Right now I am working on the new sequences.  We’re going with eight brand new sequences, touching on every reading in the book and including two new research-based sequences. [read more]

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Barclay Barrios, Emerging
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3e Progress

posted: 1.28.15 by Barclay Barrios

I’m happy to say that we’re pretty much done with the bulk of the work on the readings and apparatus for the third edition of Emerging.  Whenever I go through a revision cycle I am reminded of just how much work it can be to put together a textbook.  Fortunately, I am also reminded of just how much fun it can be, too. [read more]

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Categories: Barclay Barrios, Emerging, Readers
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Emerging 3e: Ideas?

posted: 7.30.14 by Barclay Barrios

I’m headed to Boston this weekend and that has me pumped, for two reasons.  First it means time with my partner (woo hoo). Second it means that we’re starting work on Emerging 3e (super woo hoo). I’ll be meeting with my Bedford editor (Beditor?) to go over reviews for the next edition, and I have already dashed off my own cockamamie ideas. [read more]

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Coming Soon: Guest Bloggers

posted: 12.18.13 by Barclay Barrios

I don’t often get the chance to chat with teachers outside my program using Emerging.  That’s about to change.  Next semester we’re hoping to have several guest bloggers talking about using the text and the challenges they face both with the text and in the classroom. [read more]

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Thinking Gray

posted: 12.9.09 by Barclay Barrios

I recently chatted with a group of teachers at a nearby institution who were going to test the readings in Emerging, Appiah’s “Making Conversation” and “The Primacy of Practice.”  One of the things we talked about is that students always want to flatten what they read, a particular problem when it comes to essays with subtle and complex ideas like Appiah’s.  After reading these selections, students will want to say, “We should all just get along,” or “We just need to talk more and that will solve things.”  And, yes, those reflect Appiah’s ideas.  But things are not so simple, so black and white.  Sometimes the challenge of teaching writing is getting students to think gray—to deal with the messiness of complexity, and to think their own way through it.

I shared with those teachers some of the techniques I use to get students thinking gray.  For example, the class will gravitate to certain sections of an essay or certain quotations; these will probably be the key sections of the reading, but they will also probably be the ones students “get.”  I try to direct students to the ignored parts of an essay.  If a section feels unimportant, then why is it there?  What does it do for the argument?  Along these lines, I ask peer editors to find quotations from the essay that challenge a student author’s argument.

But sometimes the best way to think gray is to pay very close attention to the text.  That was my suggestion for Appiah.  Students will want to dismiss him as all “kumbaya” and “Let’s all get along.”  But then I direct them to a small but crucial quotation from Appiah’s text: “Cosmopolitanism is the name not of the solution but of the challenge.”  Asking students to explain what Appiah means, to account for this quotation within his larger argument, to see cosmopolitanism as both a challenge and a solution… that is the stuff of thinking gray.

What are your methods for engaging students in a “messy” reading?

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Categories: Argument, Critical Reading, Critical Thinking, Emerging, Rhetorical Situation, Working with Sources
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Food for Thought (and Sequence)

posted: 10.23.09 by Barclay Barrios

I caught a wonderful little feature on the New York Times last week: Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules.”  It’s an interesting collection of reader-submitted rules about food and eating with a mix of culture, history, and humor presented in an intriguing design. It got me thinking about the Pollan piece in Emerging and about how I would put together a food sequence for one of my classes. The following is one sequence I might use:

  • Michael Pollan, “The Animals: Practicing Complexity”: I love this piece and students tend to like it, too.  It’s about a highly efficient organic farm that gets its efficiency through an ecological approach to farming, a true understanding of complex systems.  It would be a good starting point to discuss food and it also has elements of education and business, which could be teased out later. I’d use the NYT piece in the paper assignment, asking students to either deduce the food rules of Polyface Farms in Pollan’s essay or work more abstractly on function of rules in food ways.
  • Julia Alvarez, Selections from Once Upon a Quinceañera: This selection about the Hispanic coming of age ritual, the quince, is one of my current favorites in Emerging because it does so much.  It’s not about food at all, but about culture, and it would be interesting to use it in an assignment with Pollan.  I’m particularly interested in the concept of retroculturation in the piece and thinking about how that works with food ways.  I would make an assignment about the role of food in culture or the culture of farming.
  • Thomas Friedman, “The Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention”: On the surface this essay is about globalization in the flat world, but what I like about Friedman’s piece is that it also provides entry for discussions of economic and business systems.  And, like Pollan, it has a lot to do with complex and emergent systems. Bringing Friedman to this sequence foregrounds questions of economics and class that are buried just beneath the surface of Alvarez and Pollan.

One of the things I love about Emerging is that the readings are contemporary, so something’s always going on that inspires me or connects the class to the world, even if the connection is as simple as the food we eat.

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Categories: Emerging
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