Feminism- Is Anybody Listening?

Feminism- Is Anybody Listening?

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Is Anybody Listening?

Okay, ready or not, here I go on my, what may be considered an overly naïve, reflection of my experience in this course, Feminist and Critical Pedagogies in English Studies. Through my reading and writing in this course I have come to many realizations about myself as a possible teacher and what I want to see start happening in writing classrooms. First and most importantly, I want to see teachers more connected and active in the process of their students writing and learning, as I have outlined in my research paper for this course. I believe if students and teachers connect more whether it is through a ìnurturing attitudeî on the part of the teacher or a more ìempathicî role of a teacher students will be able to understand ìwhereî teachers are coming from and why certain kinds of writing and expression are necessary and vice versa. I also would like to see the act of writing taken to the next level in colleges and universities. I think that teaching writing should not be relegated as non-intellectual and taught only at the freshman level. Programs such as Writing Across the Curriculum, which many colleges use, should be mandated at all public universities with the hope the private ones will catch on. This type of program magnifies the importance of writing for all students no matter what field he or she is entering into. While these goals seem a bit grand for me to accomplish in this lifetime, they are the issues which I am found myself thinking about again and again throughout this semester. I feel very strongly that there is a tremendous value is the ability to write well and communicate ideas in an organized, correct, and functional essay or any other form of writing. Hopefully in achieving some of these goals this end will be accomplished.

Through the class readings on nurturance and my own separate research on the subject I have come to believe strongly that a nurturing attitude in the composition classroom is a must for student learning. I know that many teacher and theorists, alike, believe that being more connected to students and sharing with them a more understanding attitude along with personal experiences, would negate any authority that this teacher would have in the classroom.

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This is a valid caution because students might very well take advantage of this kind of situation where a teacher leaves him or herself vulnerable. However, I believe that if a teacher is good at being an authority this would not happen. From my own experiences, I see a tremendous amount of authority in the mere presence of a teacher and if he or she makes that authority verbally known at the start I donít see he or she having a problem with trying to be connected to his or her students. Aside from problem arising out of a nurturing attitude I would also like to refer back to Susan C. Jarrettís essay, ìFeminism and Composition,î we read earlier in the semester that really inspired me to write about the value of nurturance as my final paper topic. Jarrett views the ideal composition course as one ìÖin which students argue about the ethical implications of discourse on a wide range of subjects and, in so doing, come to identify their personal interests with others, understand those interests as implicated in a larger communal setting, and advance them in a public voiceî(121). At the beginning of this reflection essay I noted that the ideas I came away from this course with are a bit naïve and here is where this is most apparent. I know such a classroom might not exist yet, but it is my hope that through nurturing and connected teaching that students are able to become empowered and see the importance of who they are personally in relation to their academic setting.

In ìWriting Beyond the Curriculum,î Steve Parks and Eli Goldblatt assert that writing must not be restricted to the writing classroom and brought into other areas of the college curriculum along with secondary schools and the community as a whole. This essay really made me think about the overall and all-encompassing important role of writing. While I felt that Parks and Goldblatt took on a little too much in trying to incorporate writing into everyoneís lives, I was inspired as to the importance of writing as a basic function all people should possess. I think their emphasis on Writing Across the Curriculum is important because it ensures that every person graduating from the college, no matter what their major, has a strong writing foundation that he or she can carry with them for the rest of his or her life. Too often students think that just because they are math or science majors that the ability to write strong prose is not important for them. This idea, however, is not true and more often than not these same people will be expected to write well later on in life. Therefore, I only see benefits for students now and in their future lives if they learn how to write and write well!!

Even though I began my reflection stating that it was naïve and restating it later, I truly believe my goals for the future can be reached. This is my first semester as a graduate student and I am not sure if I am going to be a teacher and/or be able to realize any of these goals. I am certain, however, that whether I implement them or not, teachers and theorists will begin to realize their logical merit. Theorists such as Jarrett, Parks, and Goldblatt have in part started the ìball rollingî and I do not believe it will stop with them. I see great things happening in the composition classroom in the future and I believe nurturing teaching and an emphasis on cross curriculum writing will be a part of it.
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