Instructor interview for Place-Based WAC/WID writing instruction in Upper Divison English, clip 7 of 12

Place-based WAC/WID Hui
Henry, Jim
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Brief excerpt from interview: When I teach 370 [which is not a Writing Intensive or place-based course] as a large enrollment class with sixty students, I don't assign papers. They have quizzes and exams, which I know is disappointing, but I pay so much attention to the writing that it's hard for me to assign... With this class you can see them really developing a topic in a way that was just amazing, and they were so much more engaged in the course material... Everyone in my 420 class, I either had in 320 or 370, so I've seen their writing in different contexts. When [a good, but seemingly unmotivated student] found her topic, she realized there was this huge controversy over a stream she had played in as a child. She got so fired up. I was amazed I could see the difference between 370 that didn't have papers, and then this one where she had to really engage in one topic for the duration of the semester. I think that you could see her developing more of a kind of critical engagement. [Students] have a lot of preconceptions about what's acceptable in terms of essay writing, and some of them really did think they could not use the 'I' in the writing. So I told them 'No the I is great, because you take responsibility for your argument and it's more engaging for your reader.' It really does revitalize the kind of writing that you do. I think that was great for them to see that as a different option, that they didn't have to be very objective and scholarly in the ways that they thought an English major should be... a version of scholarship that was personal, that involved personal engagement, but was also activist-oriented so that they had a sense that they could actually change things and they could play a role. They could go to these neighborhood board meetings. They could make these maps that would try to convince people how damaging these kinds of development projects would be. I like that they were engaged in so many different levels... certainly as academics, but also as activists.
This item includes a segment of an instructor interview in a Writing Intensive course in Upper Divison English at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. The interview was conducted in 2014, and in this clip the interviewee is responding to the question 'If relevant, can you compare student writing performances with place-based/inflected courses that are NOT WI?'
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Fujikane, Candace. 'Instructor interview for Place-Based WAC/WID writing instruction in Upper Divison English, clip 7 of 12.' Interview with Jim Henry. Scholarspace. Sep. 2015. Web.
Duration: 00:03:23
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English 470: Studies in Asia-Pacific Literature (Mapping the Literatures of Hawaii)
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