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ERIC Number: ED519573
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1548-6613
School to Work: Using Active Learning to Teach Business Writing
Karmas, Cristina
Online Submission, US-China Education Review v8 n3 p302-316 Mar 2011
To succeed as tomorrow's workers in the knowledge society of the new century--a world characterized by ceaseless change, boundless knowledge and endless doubt, today's business writing students must develop the skills and traits needed to become creative problem-solvers, flexible team-players and risk-taking life-time learners (Bereiter, 2002a). And teachers must play an important role in helping students transit successfully from school to work by finding ways to develop useful life skills and the flexibility that facilitates a willingness to work cooperatively and a readiness to learn continuously. Preparing today's students for tomorrow's work world challenges 21st century teachers to reinvent their professional personas by creating a fresh professionalism founded not on old, comfortable abilities and attitudes, but on new, unfamiliar skills and traits. For many teachers (most of whom teach exactly as they were taught--typically, following the talk-chalk model that fills a classroom with five or 10 rows of passive listeners in fixed seats, and fills a class period with 50 or 60 minutes of garbled monotones in lecture format), learning to teach in ways they were not taught represents the greatest challenge of their careers (Silberman, 1996; Hargreaves, 2003). Challenging students and teachers to rearrange the furniture and to reconfigure the lecture, a well-considered active learning model (Bonwell & Eison, 1991) can be applied to the business writing classroom (an application unexplored in the literature) to help students develop the abilities and attitudes most required for success in the work world of the 21st century (an area explored in the "futuristic business literature")--to help students learn and transit. In fact, classes in business writing, professional writing and technical writing can function, through the use of active learning strategies, as dynamic workshops in which students can prepare for the change and doubt of the knowledge society by becoming creative and flexible, cooperative and confident, eager and ready to learn and work. The paper explores the active learning techniques (e.g., preview lists) used successfully in a decade of business writing classes taught at a typical Midwestern American university. (Contains 6 footnotes.)
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iowa