English and Reading

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Dept. Chair Publishes Study

Montgomery College Faculty and StaffENGL-READ Dept. Chair Elizabeth Benton published a study, “It’s Emotional: An English Teacher’s Journey In a New Classroom” on the Innovation Works website. The study tracks the academic and emotional life of a community college professor, “Sarah,” through her teaching in a new form of English Composition class.

The Accelerated Learning Program, or ALP, brings developmental students into the college-level classroom and also continues instruction with them in a separate course. It asks the teacher to open up to students and consider the whole student–academic and home life–during instruction: “In her classroom, Sarah recognizes the need to invest in the students’ lives, to understand who they are beyond their essay writing.”

From the study:

But when we are faced with more than half of a class of students who are just not “getting it,” we have to consider our whole person as well as theirs. In an effort to create meaningful instruction, do we have to invest ourselves in the lives of our students, their educational and life gaps? Perhaps the inclusion model for developmental student learning is an effective first step toward answering that question.

Benton is a doctoral candidate at The George Washington University in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development.


Eggenschwiler: No Cookie-Cutter Classes

Montgomery College Faculty and StaffEnglish Professor Rebecca Eggenschwiler (Rockville campus) has penned another nice piece for the Chronicle of Higher Education. (Another? Here’s the first.) Read both!

In this one, she pushes against the current trend of standardization in the classroom:

This is one part of a larger, troubling trend. Many people seem to be intensely afraid of the interpersonal nature of education, as we can see with the rush to standardization, the focus on data, the prescriptive pathways to student success. Some would like to unlock the secrets to education via neat little columns and easily replicable results. But education is based on human interactions, which are messy and ill-defined and unpredictable. They vary, as will our classrooms.


Professors Keith "Richards" Elphick and Swift Dickison (right) jam in Dickinson's office during a holiday soiree.
Professors Keith “Richards” Elphick and Swift Dickison (right) jam in Dickison’s office during a holiday soiree. Both teach English on the Rockville campus. Not pictured: guitar playing professor, Tim McWhirter (Rockville, Philosophy).

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