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Rogerian Democratic Pedagogy And Its Implications In Composition Studies For Students, Service Learning, And The Public Writing Movement

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Rogerian Democratic Pedagogy And Its Implications In Composition Studies For Students, Service Learning, And The Public Writing Movement

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Title: Rogerian Democratic Pedagogy And Its Implications In Composition Studies For Students, Service Learning, And The Public Writing Movement
Author: Thorne, Stacy Fussell
Abstract: In this project, I articulate a democratic pedagogical model, which is based onand modified from the pedagogical theories of the American psychologist, Carl Ransom Rogers (1902-1987). Rogerian Democratic Pedagogy (RDP) is based on Rogers' claim that learning that is student directed, and involves the learner emotionally as well as cognitively, is more effective than the traditional, teacher-directed model of education. RDP focuses on empowering composition students to have a sense of ownership of their process of learning and their class, to be responsible and active learners, and to participate as citizens in a democracy by completing public writing projects that serve a purpose outside the classroom. One type of public writing project, community service writing that is based on the Stanford model, in which the writing that students do for non-profit organizations is their service work, encourages students to conduct writing that fulfills a need in the community and that addresses a real rhetorical situation. I have found that my students who complete public writing projects, such as service-learning writing projects, interpret this kind of work as more meaningful to them than their traditional writing assignments, like the expository essay. According to Rogerian theory, the effectiveness of learning is increased when students are, as in these situations, more engaged and invested in their work.While any teaching method that facilitates a democratic learning environmentcan potentially be a useful strategy for an RDP approach to teaching composition, the RDP methods that I discuss most extensively in this project include the attempt to level the power structure of the classroom, the use of student-centered dialogue to facilitate critical thinking, and public writing projects. I assert that an RDP approach is particularly useful when linked with service-learning pedagogy, and it can help servicelearning practitioners address and overcome several challenges. RDP can help to explain why service learning, when it works well, is such a transforming pedagogy. It illustrates why service learning, rather than having civic and moral value only, also increases the effectiveness of learning, which helps to overcome a common objection to service learning pedagogy by faculty who worry that a service learning approach will not help them teach the academic content of their courses. Not only does Rogerian theory address this objection because it explains that the best learning is that which students interpret as significant, but it calls into question the importance of any course material that the instructor alone, as opposed to the student, deems valuable. In addition, RDP can help service-learning practitioners facilitate reflection and critical-thinking, overcome challenges associated with grading service-learning projects, and, according to some students in my service-learning composition class, encourage students to write for "more than just a grade" and to learn "just to learn."
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10106/4886
Date: 2010-07-19
External Link: https://www.uta.edu/ra/real/editprofile.php?onlyview=1&pid=1205

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