National Writing Project

Teaching in Two Worlds: Critical Reflection and Teacher Change in the Writing Center

By: Dale Jacobs
Publication: The Quarterly, Vol. 22, No. 2
Date: Spring 2000

Summary: Jacobs reflects on ways his experience working in a college writing center led him to revise his approach to classroom teaching, leading him to a pedagogy that was more student centered and focused on individuals.

 

Excerpt

I had strategies for getting students to talk in class, but my words always remained at the center of the pedagogical relationship. I laid out ground rules for peer writing groups, but never shared my own writing. I wrote comments on student papers, but never talked with students about their writing. Despite the veneer of student-centered methods, I was engaged in what Paolo Freire calls 'banking education,' pouring knowledge into passive students. Working in the writing center radically challenged my approach to teaching and forced me to step back and examine critically my pedagogical location, methods, and philosophy.

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