Valuing an asset-based, culturally-sustaining pedagogy (Paris and Alim 2014), I have adopted ethnography as both research technique and rhetorical approach. Personal narratives and cultural artifacts are explored through interviews and oral histories, and local or MSU cultures through field notes of observations, as well as interviews and secondary research. Students begin with their own experiences and observations as the foundation of their research; it is a sort of enactment of asset-based learning.
We frequently leave the classroom to explore resources on campus. In addition to Library and Writing Center workshops, we sometimes hold sessions in the MSU Museum or RCAH’s LookOut! Gallery. These sessions enable students to discover different environments that support their interests and talents, and to acclimate to MSU culture. As one student wrote on his semester learning reflection: “PCW is not just preparation for college writing; it’s preparation for college life.”
Sample recent courses:
Mentoring and advising form an important part of my teaching: serving as faculty adviser for the Chinese student association MSUwe54; helping prepare students for the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF) and the Learning Abroad Conference — and, of course, the First-Year Writing Symposium/Conference.