Roles allow students and instructor to place themselves in a community context. Takes us outside the classroom and into the community where we live, work and play. Also allows us to embrace identity on a multi-layered, personal level. As writers, all pieces and roles influence how we perform and publish. In a research class—or for a research assignment—all of these roles are experiential research that contribute to your knowledge of place and your urban surroundings
Today I want to talk about a course called “Research Writing” that I teach in the First-Year Writing Program. Spring Semester Course that uses intellectual inquiry-driven research combined with a genre-based approach to writing. What this means, is that students are completing research, then putting that research into a context-specific situation (rhetorical situation) prompted by a writing assignment. The difference between this research writing and the traditional research writing is that the assignments engage with writing that appears in the public world, outside the academy. For example, in my course we focus on Boston. In a traditional research writing course, students might read historical accounts about the city in an attempt to better understand a specific social issue. From there, they might write a research report, explaining their thesis/theory for why this issue is relevant, important or a problem. In my course, we try to understand the problem and write to change it.
What this looks like in a classroom is that students might research a social issue in the cityEven Acting students can find an interest
Key words are highlighted—community, students, university, language, research, relationships, artIn a research writing class, partnerships can help to show the collaborative nature of research and to promote creative
CLI Fellow: Participated in a year-long program through the Boston Cares volunteer association to deepen civic engagement and acquire practical leadership skills. As part of the institute, we developed and produced resources for Boston Cares volunteers interested in starting corporate philanthropy programs. Project Leader: Act as a liaison between Boston Cares and non-profit organizations, as well as the lead volunteer and administrative contact at project sites. Lead and volunteer in service activities related to youth, literacy, the environment, homelessness and education.
Sections titled by theme—each group of 4 students wrote and edited their sections. These were “notes from the editors” to open up the section and introduce the writing.
Appointed to serve with this team of young professionals working with the City of Boston Redevelopment Authority Office to identify issues and develop creative solutions for citizens between 20 and 34.
So we knew we wanted to do service learning. I had a community partner. And I found Emerson Senior Jeannie Harrell, a Writing, Literature and Publishing student to design and produce the magazine online—in coordination with the students. She became a consultant and it was a collarborative effort.
Itga june 2011 partnerships in action
Photo: Rebecca Kennison THE CITY AS INSPIRATION: Elizabeth Parfitt First-Year Writing Program Emerson College Using Partnerships to Write toward Creative ChangeITGA Conference, June 2011
Allow me to introduce myself: Past and Present Town/Gown PartnershipsBeth ParfittEmersonCollegeMFA 2011Creative 1981Writing__________ ONEin3Lecturer MFA Mayor’s CandidateWriting, Liter Sister Resident Advisoryature and Student and Citizen CouncilPublishing Nittany Dog OwnerDepartment Amateur Volunteer Lion Figure Writing Skater Freelance Writer Teacher
WR121: Research WritingResearch Writing Inquiry-driven Genre-based research assignments Web searching Informative Report Library Archives Reflective Essay News reports Blogs Experience as citizens, students and Independent Study scholars in the City of Group PSA Script Boston
RESEARCH WRITING: COURSE OBJECTIVES Understand the civic roles you playAfter this course you as scholar, citizen and producer of culture in the Boston community.should be able to… Make informed choices about genre presentation based on given rhetorical situations. Implement multiple research methodologies. Use research to create professional public documents in a variety of genres. Use the community and city of Boston as a resource for personal and academic research. Collaborate with a civic organization to craft public documents
For Example…Student Interest Sample AssignmentsStudent Major: Theater Studies Major Craft a Profile on the Very Special Arts (VSA) – state organization on arts andwith a minor in Communication Studies disabilityAdditional coursework: “ASL” (American Conduct an Interview with a professional at the Huntington TheaterSign Language) and “Movement” Design a Fact sheet on Boston(acting-emphasis theater course) organizations dedicated to accessibility for the arts Volunteer with a Theater or non-profit and reflect on the experience in a personal narrative Participate in Deaf Deaf Boston at Boston University and write a news report on the eventSocial Issue for Research Writing: Keep a on-going public blog documenting research and experiencesDisability Access for the Arts
My Philosophy on Teaching WritingCreated and Published with Permission from www.Wordle.net
Me and a few of my Partners Emerson College Office of Service Learning and Community Action Students!
Case Study #1 INSTRUCTOR ROLE: Civic Leadership Institute Fellow, Boston Cares 2009-2010 Boston Cares Project Leader and Volunteer 2008-present COMMUNITY PARTNER: Boston Cares Campus Initiative Program Promoting research on urban issues, city inhabitants and social problems. 18 students + 1 student design and production editor 40-page online magazine of research and reflections 90+ hours of community outreach.
Student Writing in the CommunityThe Sky isWicked Huge.WR121:ResearchWriting Spring2010 courseproject. Fundedby a “ServiceLearning SeedGrant for CourseDevelopment.”Office of ServiceLearning andCommunityAction. EmersonCollege.Boston, MASpring 2010
Case Study #2 INSTRUCTOR ROLE: •ONEin3 Boston •Mayor’s Advisory Council •City of Boston, Redevelopment Authority COMMUNITY PARTNER: •ONEin3 Jobs and Careers Subcommittee • Public Service Announcements for ONEin3 Boston as part of an on-going course research project on creativity and innovation as found on the streets of Boston. •36 students •2 student filmmakers •8 PSAsOne in every 3 Bostonians is between the ages of 20 and 34. www.onein3boston.com
Town and Gown PartnershipsEmerson College First-Year Writing ProgramWriting, Literature and Publishing Department Suzanne Hinton and the Emerson College Office of Service Learning and Community Action Innovation Grant ONEin3 Boston, Mayor’s Advisory Council City of Boston Redevelopment Authority Hsiao-Yen Jones and Ananda Boga, Emerson College First-Year Film Students
The PSA Partnership FilmStudent Producer 1 WR121 Section 1 Roommate Student Office ofONEin3 SLCABoston Instructor City ofMayor BostonMenino Film WR121 Producer 2 Section 2
Elizabeth ParfittTHE EMERSON COLLEGEANDONEIN3PARTNERSHIP PSAs from WR121 Research Writing SPRING 2011
Designing Partner ProjectsUsing local partnerships for creative change oncampus, in the classroom, and around the localcommunity
Before you beginQuestions for Instructors Questions for University Colleagues Do I want to partner inside the university or outside in What projects would help to promote our the broad local community ?(remember the university organization, advance our mission, develop our has a community all its own) programming or bridge connections between Does my institution have an office of service learning students and the greater campus community? or community engagement to help with my goals , and do they offer grants or assistance for this type of Which courses at the university might have students work? with the talents and skills necessary to complete this What organizations do I already have partnerships project? with that might be interested in working with my students? What kind of exchange can we create with those How can I connect my course to a community partner students? What might our office have to offer in the in a way that establishes an exchange between form of education and experience? students and the partner? Does our office/department/organization have access Is this a required course or an elective and how will to funds that would help to complete this project? that effect student engagement? How will I negotiate participation, service hours or What kind of connections do we already have with the community time that requires off-campus visits? local community? What kind of connections do we What type of project will best showcase the skills and want to have? How will this project advance our talents of my students, while also creating a goals? deliverable that could be of use to audiences outside the classroom? Do we have the time and resources to commit to the students who will be working on this project? Can we How will I grade the partner project? complete the project in a semester timeline? If not, how can we break this project into manageable pieces or steps?
What’s in it for me?Or why you should experiment with partnerships as coursework on campusCampus Community Student Local Community Community Creates connections to a Launches a positive Potential connections for broader community connection between internships and future employment residents and students Appeals to prospective Transferability of students and parents Works to fulfill needs with coursework across (admissions and intellectual/physical disciplines and into the recruitment tool) resources– communities public world have needs and students Promotes engagement in Experience in often have the resources to collaborations, communicat under-served campus attack those projects ing with diverse programs and organizations Revitalizes groups, problem neighborhoods, organizatio solving, creating public Stimulates ties with alumni documents, and team ns, or under-utilized spaces through the development building with youth appeal or university advancement Establishes an awareness offices Works to connect diverse for the civic and scholarly audiences with a common roles played on campus and goal in the community
Turning Partner Projects into Course AssignmentsWork Our timelinebackwards to The graded (though The purpose ofestablish elements of subject to this project is… this project change) is…course-specific are…learningobjectives andshow howthose goals This is what Ican be The time expect from From this commitment yourachieved with for this project experience, y participation…the partner ou will gain… is…project –thisinformationshould beclear in the The I’m excitedassignment about this Our partners in audiences for this project our work project are… are… because…