Friday, February 11, 2011

FACULTY NEWS: Where Are We Going Next? A Conversation about Creative Writing Pedagogy with Anna Leahy and friends (Pt.I)

Where Are We Going Next? A Conversation about Creative Writing Pedagogy (Pt. 1) By Cathy Day, Anna Leahy (Chapman Univesity, pictured left) & Stephanie Vanderslice

The three authors in this conversation essay contributed to Power and Identity in the Creative Writing Classroom (edited by Anna Leahy), which launched the New Writing Viewpoints series in 2005.

It’s time to get on with creative writing pedagogy. Can creative writing be taught? Yes, we’re not charlatans, though teaching looks different here than in other disciplines. Should college-level teachers of creative writing be practicing writers? Yes. Though being a great writer doesn’t make you a great teacher, creative writing teachers are strengthened by engaging in the practice themselves. What’s the relationship between creative writing and composition studies? While creative writing is not in opposition to composition studies, neither is it a variation of or sub-discipline within composition studies. Should we grade creative writing? If we are working in institutions that require grading, of course. There exist ways to approach the evaluation of students’ skills and written work that can be minimally intrusive on the writing process and even useful. Is the workshop monolithic? No, the workshop is an adaptable model.
Why do thousands of creative writing instructors who teach courses professionally — who speak and write about teaching creative writing — proceed as if this growing body of pedagogy doesn’t exist? We need this conversation — we need it now — to examine the current state of creative writing pedagogy and propose several areas for further investigation. Let’s get started.

Continue Reading Part 1...

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