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Contemporary english


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Contemporary english

  1. 1. Contemporary English 245<br />Multiculturalism and Composition: The Dream Team.<br /><br />
  2. 2. Class Introduction Page<br />My rationale seeks to discuss how online environments are viable places for teaching multiculturalism and composition. <br />
  3. 3. Class Introduction <br />My goal is as Grobman suggests to move away from the notion that to value other cultures is to value everything about other cultures and, relatedly, that to judge other cultures is to be ethnocentric and colonialistic. These issues are frequently cited as serious ones in writing classes that foreground the relationships between apparatuses of power and discursive practices, particularly those regarding race, class, and gender (208).<br />
  4. 4. Course Objective<br />In this course we will focus on equality and criteria that include race, gender, social class, and sexual orientation. This course is motivated by a concern for decency, social justice, and fairness so that students of different ethnic and racial backgrounds will be assured a better chance at professional school admission or lucrative careers after graduation. <br />
  5. 5. Course Objective Cont..<br />This class aims at awareness of diversity and allows for the dispelling of stereotypes. The Assigned readings will show how the media portrays different groups, how Americans view other cultures and how other countries handle social problems. <br />
  6. 6. Course Objective cont…<br />We can gain a full view of our own backgrounds and behaviors only by viewing them from the perspectives of other racial and ethnic cultures. The goal of this class is to help you gain greater self-understanding by viewing yourself from perspectives of other cultures. This class is a safe, non-judgmental, and exploratory class. We welcome opinions and will use our rhetorical skills to convince or reject ideas and concepts.<br />
  7. 7. Course Objectives cont…<br />This class will ask how difference really makes a difference and explore how dominant groups marginalize and dis-empower others. Students Are encouraged to voice their ideas rather than avoid conflict, because this provides topics to address in class that are clearly meaningful in our lives, and this in turn allows us to keep each other  engaged in this course.  <br />
  8. 8. Unit One<br />Unit one introduces multiculturalism and discusses white privilege. I begin with these topics in order to avoid the traps of multiculturalism. Chan and Treacy write that diversity and multiculturalism can be empty terms that appear to address racial and ethnic fault lines, while avoiding an examination of power and continuing to promote assimilation into the dominant society. In order to discuss who lacks privilege we must first discuss who has the privilege, how they acquired it, and what they gain from it. This will allow students to compare the “haves and the have nots.” <br />
  9. 9. Unit One Multicultural Website Project<br />The multicultural website assignment asks the students to list their ancestral background, and describe the history of their ethnicity past and present within America. I want my students to realize that ethnic statuses are created by dominant ideology. Judith Martin and Olga Davis write that racial categories were not always set; rather they were formed through discursive and political actions of whites interested in drawing the boundaries to include certain groups and exclude others (302). This assignment should make students reconstruct the concept of race.<br />
  10. 10. Unit Two<br />Unit two is designed to teach students how to use and write rhetoric effectively. <br />
  11. 11. Unit Two-Make Me Believe Paper<br />The purpose of this paper is to convince the instructor that their argument is true with the help of secondary sources. I feel it is important for students to be able to write and convey their arguments. Grobman writes in essence when a person writes a paper they are trying to convince the reader that their topic is true or false. Multiculturalism also helps students to learn to write rhetorically because as students use discourse to convince each other and their audiences that some cultural and ethical positions are more just than others, they practice rhetoric in its most productive and honored form (217). <br />
  12. 12. Unit Three<br />Unit three focuses on how race, gender, ethnicity, class, and sexuality are portrayed in the media. <br />
  13. 13. Media Review Paper<br />The Media review paper asks students to question how ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality are portrayed in the media.  Connie Chan and Mary Treacy write that students who have developed an identity based on essentialist notions of race, sexuality, and/or gender may find that a multicultural course asks them to open up these identities, to relax some of the carefully constructed boundaries, and to question old certainties (214). <br />
  14. 14. Unit Four<br />Unit four focuses on how other cultures handle the same issues that American’s confront. Students are asked to observe, critique, and develop solutions in this unit. <br />Connie Chan and Mary Treacy feel it is our task as teachers to clarify the complexity of the many overlapping economies of power and to work with our students to build the critical skills necessary to examine their own location in such a system and to find strategies of resistance to it (214). I try to build these skills via free writes, reading assignments, group discussions, and papers.<br />
  15. 15. Cultural Perspectives PowerPoint<br />The Cultural perspectives PowerPoint asks students to look at cultural issues in another country. They will compare two countries, pick the country with the better solution, and offer solutions of their own. This assignment should help students strengthen their problem solving skills. Sieber writes that instructors should pose learning tasks in terms of solving problems (334).<br />
  16. 16. Discussion Site<br />To ensure collaboration I assign group blog reflections. They are meant to gauge the student’s grasp of the unit, encourage collaboration, team work, maintain student attention, and fine tune writing. Charles Tryon emphasizes that students will take writing more seriously if they are writing for public audiences on the Internet (128). Tyron argues that blogs could be used to foster critical thinking (130). Blogs also go along with the diverse nature of my class because blogging encourages students to engage with contemporary social and political concerns in a productive way (Tryon 131)<br />
  17. 17. Discussion Link Up Close<br />Before group work ensues I assign two icebreakers.  For example, they are asked to post a picture in the photo section of the class site and write an introduction post in the group discussion section. While some instructor may value the anonymity of their students it is imperative that my students know the ethnicity and how that ethnicity translates into their classmate’s physical appearance. A person can be from the same ethnic group but lack those ethnic features. As a result they do not lose privileges. In discussions I feel students should know which side of the power struggle each student is speaking from, in order to have an informed and engaging group discussion. <br />
  18. 18. Video <br />Since, my course is asynchronous there is not a set time. It is difficult to determine what constitutes a single “class session,” as distance-learning activities occur free from the spatial and temporal restrictions of traditional class meetings (Reyman 36). The videos I assign during the online courses are from websites that are free on the World Wide Web.<br />
  19. 19. Member Page<br />Sapp and Simon argue online office hours include increased accessibility to teachers for students. The interactive quality of a conversation can be achieved better in real-time communication than by email (483). I added Meebo chat to the class site in order to conduct office hours. Students are also able to chat with each other when they are signed in. I also have a feedback turnover rate of 24 hours. <br />
  20. 20. The End<br /> It is my goal to encourage a better understanding of diversity within America by using composition as the canvas and rhetoric as paintbrush. <br />