2019 CCCC Panel Proposal

deadline for submissions: 
April 20, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Daniel Libertz
contact email: 

Below is a CFP for a panel I am putting together for next year's 4C's. Please contact me with a brief proposal (no more than 300 words) about what you would like to present on by April 20th.



Teaching About Writing: Students Performing as Teachers Do you have students lead lessons in your classes? Do you work with a TA? Do you host peer tutors from the writing center to do activities in your classroom? Do you invite former students to come back to participate in class? Do you have students develop teaching materials (e.g., lesson plans, educational videos, mini-textbooks) as a reflective assignment? This panel advocates a pedagogy of making pedagogues by exploring the educational and political benefits of classroom practices like the above. Research in educational psychology shows that students display learning gains when they think as teachers, even if all they do is prepare materials to teach (Fiorella & Mayer, 2013; Muir et al., 2016). In writing studies, it is a commonplace that teaching should be seen as equal to research, that teaching is as essential to making knowledge as research (that such a binary is highly suspect to begin with), that student-centered learning accomplished through peer review and tutoring (among other moves) is grounded in the idea that students teach each other just as much or more than any instructor might. Taking a cue from Writing About Writing and Undergraduate Research pedagogies, this panel suggests positioning students to not only take on identities as writers or researchers, but also as teachers. Such positioning has potential to build a robust community of learning with our students-as-teachers within and outside our classrooms, not unlike how writing program communities are strengthened through practices like celebrations of student writing. Aside from immediate learning benefits within the classroom, the political economic benefits are also rife with potential. Scott (2016) argued that in an austerity environment, we must not rely on reactionary practices or only creating politically conscious curricula, but we must also create working and learning environments that can subvert institutional constraints on working conditions. By having students take part in teaching as a valued activity in our composition classrooms, we can help demonstrate the value of teaching as a mission of the university within the everyday material realities of the classroom—that we are training students to think through a mindset of collaboration and articulation inherent in a teacher’s ethos, and by doing so, we can undermine the research vs. teaching hierarchy that is often used to justify where and how economic resources are committed.  If you cultivate classroom practices that allow students to see themselves as teachers, and are interested in participating in this panel, please email me at dal137@pitt.edu by April 20th with a brief proposal (no more than 300 words) about your presentation. My own presentation will focus on a two-step approach I use in my classrooms: 1. a capstone project I use in my classes in which students develop pedagogical materials centered around a writing concept that excited them most during the term, 2. inviting those same students to teach or co-teach their concept of interest during the following semester. ReferencesFiorella, Logan and Richard E. Mayer. “The Relative Benefits of Learning by Teaching and Teaching Expectancy.” Contemporary Educational Psychology 38.4 (2013): 281-88. Web. Muis, Krista R. et al. “Learning by Preparing to Teach: Fostering Self-Regulatory Processes and Achievement During Complex Mathematics Problem Solving.” Journal of Educational Psychology 108.4 (2016): 474-492. Web. Scott, Tony. “Subverting Crisis in the Political Economy of Composition.” College Composition and Communication 68.1 (2016): 10-37.