16124 Progressive Pedagogy: Long-Term Academic Competence from the Composition Class

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast MLA
contact email: 

Submit via http://www.buffalo.edu/nemla/convention/submit.html


In an economy where the bachelor’s degree is what the high school diploma once was for obtaining a living wage, are colleges and universities equipped to handle the wide range of abilities for students who are focused more on getting through than learning to appreciate how a liberal arts education may better equip them for the job market?


During each grading cycle, it’s not uncommon to hear faculty members grumbling over the lack of readiness and investment in learning of incoming freshmen who are often ill-equipped to engage in college-level discourse. The first line of defense in helping underprepared students transition to producing quality work is the composition classroom.


Too often freshmen composition or Rhetoric is a required course that does little to inspire students; however, those teaching composition can set the tone for a student’s college experience. With so many real-life distractions and a desire among students to progress, how can these composition faculty better impart the skills students need to succeed and help the students buy in to a lifelong appreciation, if not love, of learning?


Teaching argument, rhetorical efficacy, and mechanics does not have to be isolated in arcane textbooks and abstract prompts. Instead, composition faculty can promote visual literacy and analysis with graphic novels or teach rhetorical strategies by deconstructing Jim Jefferies’ stand-up about guns in America from his Netflix special Bare or by re-arranging the paper submission schedule to create opportunities for students to learn more from feedback and how to take advantage of office hours.


This roundtable seeks innovative approaches and specific, alternative activities for teaching composition that will enable students become acclimated to meeting quality expectations and promote the long-term academic and professional success this entails. Presentations may examine any area of teaching college readiness (research, grammar, argument, thesis development, organization, documentation, etc.).



To better serve under-prepared students, this roundtable seeks unique methods that will enable students become academically acclimated for college success and will promote investment in soft skills. Submitted proposals should describe pedagogy that provokes discussion about engaging teaching. Presentations may examine any area of teaching composition that elevates student work to meet collegiate expectations (research, grammar, argument, thesis development, organization, documentation, etc.).


Submit via http://www.buffalo.edu/nemla/convention/submit.html