Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Reading and writing situations in the humanities field

When I took the chair of Learning Theories at the National University of San Martin in 1997, I decided to multiply and include -within the explicit curriculum- the production of text and reading comprehension exercises, as I was convinced that the appropriation of the educational content couldn’t be done without a form of written elaboration. In this paper, I will discuss three of these activities: 1) tutorials for group writings 2) exam preparation, and 3) class summary elaboration. All of these three situations clearly include reviewing times for the student's written production, during which, as a teacher, I speak from the perspective of an external reader that expects a text to be autonomously comprehensive, in which the ideas are developed and organized in order to facilitate the task of the reader.

Tutorials for group writings
The monograph is a form of evaluation that has recently taken off in college. However, the term monograph designates no clearly defined textual form. It has been observed that there is no consensus about what a teacher expects of a monograph, that it is something between an exposition and an argumentation, and that there are no guidelines on how to write one for the students, who in turn write it following their own idea of the task. On the other hand, it clearly differs from a written exam in a classroom, due to its longest extent and to the fact that it allows the students to consult bibliography as they write it.
The activity of writing-discussing-and-rewriting that I organize has the intention of guiding students in the production of texts, and to assist them in the difficulties encountered, and to clarify that producing a text is a process that is framed in a rhetorical context. It also offers an alternative to the usual experience of having to write a piece and receive a note and evaluation only at the end of the semester. 

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