"Maybe Try This?": Using Student Teaching Demonstrations to Foster Self-Efficacy and Rhetorical Knowledge Building in the FYW Classroom

Rhetorical knowledge, at least as defined by the WPA Outcomes Statement, is developed through an on-going process whereby students actively negotiate “purpose, audience, context, and conventions as they compose a variety of texts for different situations.” As a negotiation, this process involves an active dialogue about different writing expectations and how to meet them effectively. In my FYW courses, I have designed an activity to promote this form of dialogue. In this activity, students first identify their strengths in relation to understanding and meeting expectations for purpose, audience, and genre conventions within a specific assignment. Then, the students form small groups of 3-4 (based on shared strengths) and work to develop short teaching demos that illustrate specific concrete approaches for effectively negotiating expectations within their self-identified area of expertise (i.e. purpose, audience, or genre). In my assignment presentation, I will demonstrate how short teaching presentations allow students to build self-efficacy in the composing process and actively build rhetorical knowledge, as well ヨ through actively teaching others how to negotiate specific rhetorical situations and also learning how to do so in diverse ways from others.
This talk was presented as part of Breakout Session D | Panel 2: Fostering Rhetorical Awareness Through Place-Based and Participatory Pedagogies. This is a PDF of the talk's speaking notes.
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