Editors' Note: Teaching Transformations 2010

By Tamdgidi, Mohammad; Zamel, Vivian et al. | Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge, Spring 2010 | Go to article overview

Editors' Note: Teaching Transformations 2010


Tamdgidi, Mohammad, Zamel, Vivian, Beckwith, Anna D., Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge


The present, Spring 2010, issue of Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge includes, but is not limited to, contributions from the 2010 Annual Conference on Teaching for Transformation, organized by the Center for the Improvement of Teaching, directed by Vivian Zamel at UMass Boston. The issue also includes five student papers from courses taught by Anna Beckwith, Lecturer at UMass Boston, as well as three contributions submitted to the journal during the past year.

As instructors regularly teaching the same course and often using the same text across semesters, we may have noticed the difference between our own initial readings and teachings of our texts, and subsequent readings and teachings of them, when familiar ways of interpreting and teaching the text in the classroom seem to emerge over time. As we teach, we may find ourselves adopting routine approaches to interpreting and teaching text. The freshness of the first reading or teaching of a text often has a taste and after-taste that the routinized/habitual reading and teaching of the same in later trials often lack. In their important contribution, "Constructing the Innocence of the First Textual Encounter," UMass Boston English Department faculty Alex Mueller, Cheryl Nixon and Rajini Srikanth creatively succeed in making their readers aware of the complexity of the first textual encounter and its significance in the learning (and teaching) process. Moreover, they propose three strategies (what they call, "the innocence of the material text," "the pedagogy of the restraint," and "the suspension of mastery") that will enable teachers and students to purposely "construct" and reinvent the innocence of the first textual encounter in order to balance the "uncertain and confident" encounters with the text while reaping its pedagogical and transformative benefits. As the co-authors aptly conclude, "innocence is an opening to question our texts, our world, and ourselves as students and teachers" (p. 3).

In her article entitled, "Examining a First Amendment Court Case to Teach Argument Analysis to Freshman Writers at an Art College," Angelika Festa, of Massachusetts College of Art and Design, draws on her experience of teaching and her students' viewpoints to re-encounter the legal arguments in a First Amendment case involving the Brooklyn Institute of the Arts and Sciences v. City of New York Rudolph W. Giuliani over the 1996 exhibition of the painting "The Holy Virgin Mary" by the artist Chris Ofili in the Institute. It is interesting to see the parallel between the "innocence" of the new encounter of Festa's students with the legal and artistic texts surrounding Ofilia's painting, for this experience proves to be not only one of learning about the legal case and the painting. The experiences also allows these students to learn about U.S. history on the one hand, and their own sense of artistic imagination and expression, on the other. From a textual encounter with a legal case about the exhibition of painting, students end up voicing their own identities and imaginations as expressed through their creative writings about the case. In Festa's words,

   ... as [students] study to analyze and reason effectively when
   making arguments about art and freedom of expression, it becomes
   clear to me that they are also eager to enter the free space of
   their imagination and expression, where personal judgment and
   experience mingle with language, form, color, sound, and tactile
   materials to produce a work of art. (p.40)

In both studies above, teachers and students are directly involved in their joint encounters with the text, be it a novel, poem, or legal argumentation. "The Absent Professor: Rethinking Collaboration in Tutorial Sessions," co-authored by Arianne Baker, Kristi Girdharry, Meghan Hancock, Rebecca Katz, Meesh McCarthy, Jesse Priest, and Megan Turilli--all tutors at the Reading, Writing, and Study Strategies Center at UMass Boston--involves a different encounter with students over the text, not only of student writings, but of the syllabi, margin commentaries, and expectations of professors who are physically absent in the conversation, but very much present as far as the nature and goals of the assignment are concerned. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Editors' Note: Teaching Transformations 2010
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.