Engaging Ideas Chap 5

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  • 8/10/2019 Engaging Ideas Chap 5

    1/26

    Engaging Ideas

    The Professor's Guide

    to Integrating Writing,

    Critical Thinking,

    nd Active Learning

    n the Classroolll

    : : JO

    SSY B

    ASS PUB

    LISHE

    S

    S

    an

    Francisco

    -

  • 8/10/2019 Engaging Ideas Chap 5

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    Published

    by

    -I

    JOSS

    EY- BAS S

    .

    A

    Wiley

    Company

    350 Sansome St.

    San

    Francisco

    , CA

    94104

    1 wv.lw.)osseybass.com I

    o p y r i g h

    2001

    by

    John Wiley & Sons, Inc

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    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Bean, John C

    Engaging ldeas: the professor s guide

    to

    integrating wri ting,

    critical thinkmg, and active learning in the classroom

    John C

    Bean. - 1st ed.

    p.

    cm.- (The Jossey-Bass higher and adult education

    se

    ries

    Includes bibliographical references and ind x.

    ISB

    N 0-7879-0203-9

    1.

    English

    language-Metoric-Stud),

    and teaching 2. Critical

    thinking Stud) and teaching

    l l i t l

    e n Se ries.

    PE1404 B35

    1996

    808

    042

    dc20 95-36265

    FIRST ED m O N

    PB

    Prinhng 10 9 8 7

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  • 8/10/2019 Engaging Ideas Chap 5

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    CH PTER

    5

    Forlllal Writing

    A

    ssignlllen

    ts

    P

    ar

    t T

    wo

    of thi s

    book

    focuses on th e design of problem -based

    assignments to promote critical thinking and active engagemen t

    wi th

    cour

    se subject matter. The presen t chapter concerns the

    des.ign of fo

    rm

    a l

    woting

    assignmen ts,

    whic

    h call s for finished

    p rose Formdl writing usually requires multiple drafts and is

    thus

    di

    tin

    g

    uish

    ed

    from e

    qua

    lly

    important

    inf

    or

    mal,

    exploratory

    w

    nt

    ing

    ai

    med a t genera

    ti

    ng , de velopin

    g

    and ex

    tendin

    g thinking on a

    subject

    (How to use i

    nform

    al explora tory vvriting in your courses

    is

    the subject of

    Chap

    ter Six )

    Formal wr i ting can

    rang

    e

    from

    lengthy

    research papers

    to

    short

    (on e- or

    two-paragraph)

    micro themes, The

    chapt

    er's

    initial

    focus is

    on

    th esis-gov

    erned

    academic wri ting, bu t the cone ud ing

    sec tion su rveys

    alterna

    tive kinds of assignments that let stud ents

    wr

    ite

    in

    d more personal voice

    in

    c varie ty of m

    odes

    and s ty les

    Th

    e Tr

    ad

    itio

    na

    l et

    ho

    d of

    s

    signing

    Writi

    ng

    In Am er ican uni ve rsities, the

    traditi

    onal way to a ign writing

    goes

    som

    e thing like

    thlcc

    There w ill be a term paper due at the

    end of th e semester, The term paper can be on any aspec t of the

    co ur se

    tl

    l a t

    interes

    ts yo u , but I

    hav

    e to

    approve

    your tOpiC in

    ad vance," Abou t lv lfway thro ugh the term, s tud

    en t

    s subm it pro

    po sals for

    tl

    Tics-us ually stated as a topic area ra ther than as d

    Iesearch

    ques

    tion or tentative thes is. The ins tructor either approves

    7

  • 8/10/2019 Engaging Ideas Chap 5

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    7

    ngaging Ideas

    the topic or ad vises that it be narrowed , som

    etim

    es giving prelimi

    nary advice for bibliogr aphic items In

    man;'

    ca ses,

    no

    fur ther con

    tact be tween teacher a

    nd st

    uden t occurs . At the end of the term,

    the teacher collects

    and grades

    the peipers Some teachers

    mark

    the

    pap

    ers copiously; others make onl y cryptic end comments Much

    to teachers d isa

    pp

    ointment, many

    students

    never pick up

    their

    papers from the te

    ac

    her s offic

    e.

    lte rnative pproaches

    to

    ssign ing Writing _

    As one of many alte rna tive approaches, consider the method used

    by fin anc e professor Dean Drenk (Dren k, 1986; Bean, Drenk, and

    Lee ,

    19

    86), who re

    quires

    a ser ies of short

    essays

    , ea ch of w

    hich

    must

    support either the positiv e or the negative side of a thesis on

    a controversial question in finan ce. Th e tl,eses , ' ' ' 'hich Dr enk

    sequences from easy to d ifficult, ar e co

    nstruct

    ed to cover var i

    ou

    s

    key issues in the field such as the follovving

    Th e mark et is/is not efficient in st rong

    -form

    , random-walk

    terms.

    Bonds are / are not more risky inves tme

    nt

    s than stocks.

    Random diversification is/is

    not

    m ore reliable

    than

    selective

    di versifica bon.

    Each thesis support assignmen t re

    quires

    s tudents to unde

    rs t

    and

    and us e key course conce

    pts

    while s

    imultan

    e01Jsiy practicin g

    th

    e

    methods of inquiry, research, and argumentation in fin ance. Stu

    de

    nts

    must use library research skills to find relev

    ant

    data on their

    assigned issues, analyze th e

    data

    , devel

    op

    reas oned positio

    ns

    ,

    and

    p roduce empiricall y supported

    argum

    ents

    Dr

    en k requires stu

    de

    nts to me et minimal s tanda rds on ea ch thes is support essay

    before progressing to the next a

    nd encourag

    es

    stud

    ent s to r

    ew

    rite

    their essays for higher grades, tllUS stimulating revision. He pro

    vides fe edb ack

    through an

    evaluati\ e chec ksheet fo cusmg on the

    q uality of critica l thinkin

    g,

    the clarity of writing,

    an

    d the

    adequacy

    of empirical support

    Traditi onal and lte rnative Methods Com pared _

    The first of these methods-

    th

    e trAditional one- can be excelle

    nt

    for skilled upper-di ision students wllo hav e alr

    eady

    learned the

    conventions of inquiry

    an

    d argulllentation in a

    di

    scip llne At some

    point

    in the ir undE I t;raduate care, ; s, we want to

    turn

    students

  • 8/10/2019 Engaging Ideas Chap 5

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    Forma l Writing ssignments

    7

    loose

    and

    say, Okay, now talk

    and

    w rite like a n w m

    em

    ber of this

    discipline Go find you r ow n top ic a

    nd

    do something interes ting

    with

    [Jut for many co

    ll

    ege wri ters, such freed

    om is de

    bilita ting. Not

    ye t at home wi th academic wri ting or with th e disco urse conven

    tions of a new discipline, these students are

    ap

    t to produce wander-

    ing

    aU

    a

    bout

    papers ra ther than arg

    ument

    s or quasi-plagiari

    zed

    data dum ps with long, pOintless

    quotations

    and thinly

    disguised

    pa rap

    hrases Even

    worse,

    s

    tud

    ents may res

    or