Writing for civic engagement presentation

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  • 1. CASE STUDY: BOSTON Elizabeth ParfittFirst-Year Writing Program Writing, Literature and Publishing Department Emerson CollegeAAUP Conference -- June 12, 2010

2. As we enter into the conversationSmartphones, GPS, wireless technology,and a resurgent spirit of civicengagement mean that all of us areeyes and ears on the streets, thatneighbors are our greatest source ofdata, and our citizens the best civicentrepreneurs. -- Boston Mayor Thomas M. MeninoJanuary 4, 2010 Inaugural AddressElizabeth Parfitt 3. The Research Questions? How do you design an education in civicengagement? (Instructor) What does it mean to be civicallyengaged? (Student) What are our roles as citizens andscholars? (Instructor and Students)Elizabeth Parfitt 4. The HypothesisWR121 Research WritingWriting for Civic Engagement, Case Study: BostonAfter this course you should be able to Understand the civic roles you play as a scholar and citizen in the Bostoncommunity. Make informed choices about genre presentation based on given rhetoricalsituations. Implement multiple research methodologies, including: field work, visualdocumentation, theoretical analysis, and rhetorical interpretations of texts. Use research to create professional public documents in a variety of genresincluding: rhetorical analysis, personal memoir, commentary, letters,informed reports and fact sheets. 5. Research MethodsStudent Work Student Roles Civic ReflectionsFacilitators Volunteer Projects Volunteers Class readings Students Writing AssignmentsReporters, Memoirists, Magazine ProjectScholars, Citizens Magazine writers,editors,photographers,designersElizabeth Parfitt 6. Civic Reflections Student-facilitated discussions based on intellectual andartistic readings meant to foster an open dialogue aboutwhat it means to be civically engaged, an active citizen, anda community leader. These conversations promoted inquiryinto one of our biggest research questions this semester:what does it mean to be civically engaged? Sample Readings: The Drum Major Instinct, Martin Luther King, Jr. The Unknown Citizen, W.H. Auden A Bed For The Night, Bertolt Brecht Fellowship, Franz Kafka Theme for English B, Langston HughesElizabeth Parfitt 7. Boston CaresBoston Cares is a member of the HandsOn Network and Points of Light Institute, an international organization which inspires, equips, and mobilizes people to take action that changes the world. At the center of the network are 250 affiliates serving 83% of the American population and 12 international communities. Elizabeth Parfitt 8. Town and GownPartnershipsEmerson College First-Year Writing ProgramWriting, Literature and Publishing Department Emerson College Office of Service Learning and Community Action Seed Grant Boston Cares Volunteering and Project Management Jeannie Harrell, Emerson College Senior, Publication Design and Production Editor.Elizabeth Parfitt 9. Community InvolvementEducation inWritingCivicReflectionEngagement ClassElizabeth Parfitt 10. By the Numbers:Research Components and Constraints 14 semester weeks 7 Formal Writing Projects 3 Service Projects per student 3 Written Reflections per student 1 Community Partner for hundreds ofnon-profit needs 1 Civic Reflection 10-12 hours of service per student Elizabeth Parfitt 11. A genre-based approach to writingthat emphasizes purposefulrhetorical choicesGenre:Memoir, Personal Essay,Research Report, Review, Testimonial, Fact SheetMessage (logos)ResearchPurpose ContextWriting Persona:Readers: Formal,Peers, BostonConversational, AudienceWriter Sarcastic, Cares, First-Year (pathos) (ethos) Compassionate, Writing students,Future Employers, Informative, Parents, Friends, Intellectual,Boston CommunityElizabeth ParfittHumorous 12. Our on-goingconversation http://www.wordle.net/. Images of Wordles arelicensed Creative Commons License. 12 13. What does an education in Civic Engagement Look Like?Elizabeth Parfitt 14. The Sky is Wicked HugeElizabeth Parfitt 15. Student-driven editorial choices Exploration involves going to a new place, material or otherwise, and existing there, if only for a few minutes. Youll come away having not necessarily learned something, but having felt something. In here you will find a report from each of us about our first year at Emerson. Dr. Seusss Oh The Places Youll Go aint got nuffin on us. Liz looks at bathrooms, Carson explores a film archive, Brendan stares at the sky.Elizabeth Parfitt 16. Volunteer ReflectionsI really felt connected to thegroup of people at the event, as Iam from the area and DrumlinFarm was part of my childhood. Itreally confirmed for me howimportant Drumlin Farm is to thecommunity that I come from and At Xcel GED math tutoring, I got to it felt really rewarding to me to pass on some of my knowledge togive back to a place that had those in need. My class of 15 adultnurtured me when I was young. students looked to me for answers, a person only about half their age.Elizabeth Parfitt 17. City ExplorationsI always figured Boston was tooconventional a city to cater to mymost obscure tastes. I figured Ineeded to get out of American forthat. But of course I was wrong,and The Archive was a place thatCertain aspects of Chinatown almostperfectly fit the radical cinematicmake the area seem like a portalexploration that I like to partakebetween every city that one can travelin.into and out of at his or her own willFinding places like Chinatown where Ican feel a little more comfortable isintegral to my survival here in Boston.Elizabeth Parfitt 18. One students journey throughcivic engagementOn the surface, I didnt think playing Trivial Pursuit withsenior citizens at the Hale House would be rewarding. Ireally should know better by now than to underestimate thevalue of service Out the gate, I felt I was at a critical disadvantage. The Trivial Pursuit edition we played with was from 1985, five years before I was bornThis is why we root for the underdog, because they make usfeel like anything is possible. One can create the illusion ofimperviousness to time. That night the lesson was reinforcedfor me, that it is easily done, with compassion.Elizabeth Parfitt 19. Boston Cares Component forCommunity PartnersA journey through what itmeans to be American, myculture, and my profession.I learned a lot about myself and got tomeet new people.Make my ownchange in mycommunitythey will becomeinspired to make adifference.Elizabeth Parfitt 20. What we accomplished On-going Reflection40 page onlinemagazine90+Volunteer Hours Knowledge of Research, Writing,Rhetorical Awareness,Community Relations, Citizenship,Volunteering,CollaborationElizabeth Parfitt 21. As we continue working to straddle the line between scholars and citizensWe would like to differentiate between what we feel is civic engagement andeffective civic engagementThere has been a tendency among our generation to become what is known as theme generation. We implore you to strive to be the us generation.We are not asking you to become an activist. We are not asking you to go out andchange the world single handedly. But we as the writers are convinced that byreflecting on the work that we do, you can create a more effective, civicallyengaged community. Elizabeth Parfitt