ERIC Number: ED339032
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Sensitizing Students to the Dynamics of Race and Class.
Yonke, Jean Mullin
To prepare students to live in a diverse world, writing teachers must create a non-threatening environment in their classrooms and introduce the issues of race, ethnicity, and class in reading and writing assignments. One assignment that a writing teacher used successfully both in a writing workshop course for less proficient writers and in a course entitled "Writing: American Minorities" was a personally based essay in which the students discussed a racist, sexist, or unfair incident that they had experienced or witnessed. Students were encouraged to maintain a reasonable tone of voice throughout the essay to avoid alienating the reader. First drafts of the essays were edited by students without the same type of experience. Students were graded on the quality of their prewriting activities, peer editing, rewriting skills, and the final draft. Examples from student papers demonstrating the willingness of students to recognize racism both in themselves and in others and to reject the unfairness of racism are given. In addition to personally based compositions on race and class issues, writing teachers can sensitize students to the complexity of race and class diversity through literary texts. Realistic novels, short stories, and historical readings dealing with racial issues can enrich students' perceptions of the importance of race in U.S. history and culture. This writing assignment also works well in a course that uses a traditional anthology. (The essay assignment is attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Writing Contexts
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (42nd, Boston, MA, March 21-23, 1991).