Community-Engaged Pedagogies – A Snapshot


“What is community-engaged pedagogy and how will it help students in a writing course?”

  • Promotes writing that is shaped and based in the public sphere, creating authentic purposes and audiences not available outside of the classroom.
  • Implementation depends on different factors, such as what an instructor defines as “the community”
  • Can include writing as, for, and about the community
  • Most successful instruction is based in rhetorical theory stressing multiple discourses
  • It has been supported since the social turn of composition (stems from critical pedagogy)

“How do I find community partnerships for my students?”

  • Utilize students who are community members
  • Take advantage of existing relationships between organizations and the university
  • Forming relationships takes time, but reciprocal communication is a crucial aspect – learn the social expectations and discourse of the organization/community

“What kinds of writing assignments work best for such courses?”

  • Marketing aspects for organizations are common – this gives students a new sense of authority in the public sphere.
  • Research projects allow for self-education and can be used to help students write and learn about a discourse or an issue they will be involved with.
  • Reflective writing is very important and can be supplemented with critical readings so the reflections can go beyond personal reactions to an issue. Reflections allow students to work through community issues they have encountered.
  • Instructors should recognize their own limit to understanding the textual practices and rhetoric of the sites students work in.

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