WRIT 540: Teaching College Composition

This course provides new UM Composition Program teaching assistants with an introduction to the theories and practices that surround composition pedagogy. Through this course, teaching assistants will able to take up the UM Composition Program´s curriculum with greater knowledge, authority, and agency.

Two guiding principles articulate how this course informs the teaching of first–year composition at Montana. First, we want our students to realize "what composing is and to articulate the role it plays in shaping their intellectual lives" (Crowley, Composition in the University, 262). And secondly, we want our students to understand inquiry as a way of engaging in our composition classes, the university, and the world. To facilitate such an understanding requires that you develop a teaching praxis – that is, composition teaching theories and practices grounded in study, experience, reflection, and action.

Students in this course can learn to connect questions, issues and concerns of the discipline of Composition and Rhetoric Studies with the WRIT 101 curriculum and the everyday work of teaching. In particular, you will become familiar with theories of writing and teaching writing related to UM´s program, including topics like portfolio assessment, collaboration, rhetoric, reading, and research. Students will be best prepared to teach effectively if they learn about theories of composition as they relate to classroom practices and curriculum decisions to understand program philosophies, the curriculum, and to help guide daily decision making. This graded course is restricted to first year TAs teaching WRIT 101.

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