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November 2019 – Page 2 – Weekly Writing & Blogs

Mauras discussion group response

Emily, Makayla, Mimi, Hayley, John

  • In our discussion group we discussed how discussion groups are beneficial but at the same time they do waste a lot of time. Sometimes the times don’t work for some students causing them to have to miss out on the possible discussion group. Also the topics of the discussion groups are all over the place causing students to not actually engage and just write to complete the assignment. We discussed how meeting new people outside of the classroom was very beneficial as a first year student to create new relationships and familiar faces around campus. During the winter it did get a little hard trying to find a place to go to meet as a big group. Overall, discussion groups are very beneficial in many different ways. The discussion groups should be modified a little bit just to be more beneficial. I also found that a big group was less beneficial than a tiny group.

Discussion group

Where and when: Tables outside of the Tyson Hall at 11 am on Nov 21, 2019

Topic: Throughout this semester, we have been asked to participate in various discussion group activities, whether it be leading a discussion or following one. There are both positive qualities and negative qualities of participating in discussion groups. In this discussion, we will be tearing apart the negative and positive aspects of the discussion group and how it relates back to the individual.

Timothy’s Discussion group

We will be talking about our experiences with the discussion groups to see what was the best ways of conducting a discussion group and what were ways which negatively impacted the purpose of the discussion group. My discussion group will take place in the same room as class on Friday 10:00 this week 11/22/19.

Amandas team long draft review copied

Mia Positive- I think its good that you have an example of an actual class here at WCU and how it does not reflect the author’s ideas. In the sentence before I would change “That” to “Where” teachers teach.

Mia Constructive- Sometimes less is more in terms of sentence structure. I feel like there are a couple run-on sentences and repetitive sentences that when corrected can make your writing flow more. 

Mia Percy- I think you have strong quotes from the text for all of your points that back them up very well.  

Emily Positive- I can really connect to your writing being a student here at WCU. I feel like all of your points are valid and make sense coming from a student.  

Emily Constructive- In your third paragraph I think it would be a good idea to end with a sentence that sums up the overall idea/ point of that paragraph to sum things up.  

Emily Percy- All of your quotes strongly support your points and they are all cited properly and placed within a sentence. In your second paragraph I would try to expand on the quote after it is cited.

Long draft review copied-haley myers

Mia Positive- I think you have a strong thesis and intro paragraph that clearly highlights your points and gives good insight on the rest of your paper. 
Mia Constructive- Sometimes less is more in terms of sentence structure. I feel like there are a couple run-on sentences and repetitive sentences that when corrected can make your writing flow more. 

Mia Percy- I think you have strong quotes from the text for all of your points that back them up very well.  

Emily Positive- I can really connect to your writing being a student here at WCU. I feel like all of your points are valid and make sense coming from a student.  
Emily Constructive- In your third paragraph I think it would be a good idea to end with a sentence that sums up the overall idea/ point of that paragraph to sum things up.  

Emily Percy- All of your quotes strongly support your points and they are all cited properly and placed within a sentence. In your second paragraph I would try to expand on the quote after it is cited.

Amanda’s team final draft


Amanda Jiang & Leah Schreffler

Dr. Randall Cream

Writing 120

3 November 2019 

Teaching without teaching

Good quality teaching involves interaction and socialization between students. A good professor takes time to connect with the student’s background and needs. The teacher builds a relationship with the student. At West Chester University, the education system does not do this. In Walker Percy’s “The Loss of the Creature” and Paulo Freire’s “The Banking Concept of Education”, they address the current issue that is affecting the education system. Freire explains the problem of the banking concept of education. This means that teachers feed information to students and they absorb it like robots. This way of education does not teach students. West Chester University is a victim of this way of teaching. Every class teaches this way and it only hurts the students more than it helps. Walker Percy has similar views as Friere. He talks about educational content as a “package” and explains how students do not gain or learn anything by this way of teaching. This is a massive problem in the education system that has been around for decades, but both authors believe there are ways to change. Both authors talk about how students do not learn from the teacher, they learn from each other. Creating a learning environment where students are not taught by the teacher allows for a different way of learning. One class that West Chester offers is HEA 110 Transcultural health, a class where teachers teach students as passive objects. Students are fed information and are expected to memorize everything instead of comprehending it. This class is a prime example of how a class should not be taught according to Percy’s and Freire’s ideas. We believe good teaching can happen at West Chester through trial and error, observation, students teaching students, and mock trials.

In Freire’s “Banking Concept of Education”, Friere talks about how teachers teach in a way where students are fed information like robots. This way of teaching is completely wrong.  “Nor do the students practice any act of cognition, since the object towards which that act should be directed is the property of the teacher rather than a medium evoking the critical reflection of both teacher and students. Hence in the name of the “preservation of culture and knowledge,” we have a system which achieves neither true knowledge nor true culture” (Friere 4). Learning should be a way where students create knowledge and culture. West Chester University is teaching students the way Friere and Percy say it does not work. Most are familiar with the saying you learn from your mistakes. Mistakes are inevitable but you will eventually learn from your mistakes, leading to the solution. This method of learning is trial and error. Trial means the practice of different strategies to find a solution. If the trial is fawlty and does not create a solution, a new method is to be tested until a solution is reached. Trial and error is used in problem solving. Problem-solving can be used in  HEA 110 as a new way of teaching. This creates a change of teaching. The teachers create different scenarios where the students have to act out the scenarios and try to find the best solution of the problem. The teacher will create scenarios where the students have to discover how to treat a patient who has barriers of communication and beliefs. The students in the classroom will act out the scenarios and have other students watching, leading to student feedback. This feedback will critique the way the student treated the patient, eventually leading to the correct way. Having students give feedback to other students will help them learn the right and wrongs of how they performed and approach their scenarios. Learning the correct way to treat minority groups in the health care system will benefit the students in a new way of learning.  

One way to implement good teaching at West Chester University would be for teachers to ask students to teach themselves through observation. Activities, where students observe information outside of the classroom, allows for comprehension and an advanced way of learning instead of being fed information. By doing observation activities, students are open to new creativity and opportunities that are provided. A quote from Percy states, “…that they have in common the stratagem of avoiding the educator’s direct presentation of the object as a lesson to be learned and restoring access to sonnet and dogfish as beings to be known, reasserting the sovereignty of knower over known” (Percy 5). Percy explains that the only way a student can learn is by avoiding the teacher’s way of teaching. When students are assigned readings or video assignments, they do not learn as much compared to going somewhere and observing. Students only focused on watching videos and answering given questions rather than understanding the true concepts. Learning outside the four walls of the classroom can significantly improve a student’s academic and developing environmental awareness. By assigning observation assignments beyond the classroom allows students to think outside of the box. This allows students to take the chance to explore and expand their critical thinking. Observation gives students an understanding of the outside world. In HEA 110, students will have assignments to visit specific companies or areas where people with different cultures visit for health care. Observing a real-life interaction gives the student experience and understanding of the world. Observing something like this teaches the student so much more than a lecture ever would. In conclusion, Students can not learn from the teacher and have to discover other ways of learning. 

A new way of changing the way students learn is by having the teacher creates activities that will make students teach students the information. College is all about training students to be future leaders and for this to happen, students have to recognize that they have a voice and an opinion. Speaking for yourself is a hard thing to do and learn. Having interaction in the classroom and in the criteria of the course will allow students to learn to become involved in the class. Students take information from other students and begin to understand different views of things. Seeing the bigger picture of the outside world creates an opportunity for students to seek the moment, creating a new way of learning. “No, but it means that the student should know what a fight he has on his hands to rescue the specimen from the educational package. The educator is only partly to blame. For there is nothing the educator can do to provide for this need of the student. Everything the educator does only succeeds in becoming, for the student, part of the educational package” (Percy 5). Percy is saying that the students have to create their own ways of learning because the teacher is not there to provide the students what they need. The problem with traditional teaching was that teachers feeding students the information and they absorb it. Students teaching students is not the traditional way of learning. Having students teach other students allows for a better connection because there is no higher authority over the students. They are all equal to each other and because of this equality, they will listen to each other. Having this change helps students to focus and begin to learn a different way. 

The final way good teaching can happen at West Chester University is through the way of mock trial. Having a teacher read about the content is not the same as having the content shown to you. A mock trial is an imitation trial and problem-solving skill. Problem-solving is another way students create self-learning. In HEA 110 at West Chester University, having mock trials in the classroom creates a real-world scenario that the students can observe and learn from. This mock trial can be created by the teacher. Students will watch and comprehend what is happening. This idea is generated through the computer. The students will observe the scenario and comprehend the material that is provided. Teaching this way changes the atmosphere of the classroom. Teachers do not teach the students directly, they teach indirect. Teachers teach students without teaching. This way of teaching allows students to obtain knowledge instead of memorization. Overall,  professors feed information to students and expect them to memorize information instead of comprehending the material. A teacher has to let students discover and create their own critical thinking. By setting an environment where students use their own knowledge to observe and process further thinking leads to independent and social work skills. Learning from their experiences rather than given to them opens up their capability of becoming a better thinker. Having students explore not only outside of a classroom but different methods in the academic course can develop complete understanding. By having trial and error, observation, students teaching students, and mock trials at West Chester University only improve student’s learning skills.

Final Draft: Project 2

Michael Tresoikas 

Randall Cream WRT 120

16 November 2019

Student Learning at West Chester University

Almost every student has encountered troubling times in his or her life where they have challenging periods or have had a difficult time grasping the information presented by the instructor. This is due to the structure and functionality of our educational system. Our education system is set up so that students follow the directions of the teacher and receive points. They are supposed to learn from experiments and work that is based off of an expected outcome that every student should understand. In reference to Paulo Freire’s readings “The Banking Concept of Education,” he believes that students are just taking information from the teacher but not really learning anything in return. In reference to Walker Percy’s readings “The Loss of the Creature,” he states that as humans we have lost our jurisdiction but we are able to gain it back through certain ways. To both Freire and Percy, this is not learning by any means, following directions and listening to the teacher is just good listening skills and the student does not gain any knowledge from the presence of this work. Therefore, the only outcome that students can acquire knowledge on their own instead of being educated by the standards of the academia system, is to actually be the teacher and the tourguide to their own route on the path to learning successfully. Having other resources for students to learn outside the classroom will only help in the aid of their learning including biology labs, doing field work by getting out to nature preserves, using programs like Khan Academy, and giving and getting help through student led tutoring sessions.

As a biology major, a student must take 9 biology related classes, bio 110 being one of them. Course 110 consists of learning about the smallest units of life which are cells to bigger units of life which are plants, animals, and humans. Students will look at plants and animals in detail, learning about the process of reproduction and how organisms obtain food. This course challenges students to learn the basics of biology so that students can take that information and grow each semester that they take a biology course. Taking this course, students will learn about the processes in biology and what it will take to earn an A in the class.

In creating labs the students can dissect specimen that vary every time a student dissects it. Students will go to lab each week, doing a different dissection every time. They will use their scientific knowledge to inspect and dissect items that will be placed in front of them. Students will go through their specimen taking notes, writing down differences, major findings, and the overall look of the item. When dissecting items like cow eyes or animals, this will help aid in learning growth because the animal specimen is the instructions and the student has ample opportunities to do what they choose with the animal instead of following rules. Doing these labs will prepare the student for any biology related questions and will give students many opportunities to learn and ask questions. Percy references “A young Falkland Islander walking along a beach and spying a dead dogfish and going to work on it with his jackknife has, in a fashion wholly unprovided in modern educational theory, a great advantage over the Scarsdale high-school pupil who finds the dogfish on his laboratory desk,”(Percy pg 4) in which he states that the young islander has the upper advantage over the student. As for the islander, he is teaching himself and is learning through experience with cutting the fish. The islander has no instructions, but only his bare hands to help learning through hands on experience.

Alongside the labs, the students who are taking bio 110 can progress much faster if they get out of the lecture and start doing field work on nature preserves. Therefore the students who go to the nature preserves will in return learn more than the students in lecture by actually putting themselves in the first person POV. Students will be going to the nature preserves and will get to witness the true essence of the biology of plants and animals. They will take note of the different organisms that are around because each organism is different depending on the area. They will write descriptive summaries of what they are witnessing and take pictures to identify what they are seeing and to compare it to other organisms. Getting the students out of the lecture and letting them experience things for themselves will be of great value and only help to grow their learning capabilities. Percy believes the role of the teacher is important but he wants students to try others ways to learn; he wants students to learn by going off the traveled road or the standard. Taking the less traveled path helps you gain more knowledge about the different perspective of learning that comes with hands on experience because everytime you see a plant or animal, most likely both will be different and the student will have to use their brain. If a teacher were to ask what a certain plant is in the wild, the student will most likely get it right from studying or if they get it wrong, it is only a learning process and will remember it next time. In reference to Percy he states “ The pupil at Scarsdale High sees himself placed as a consumer receiving an experience-package; but the Falkiand Islander exploring his dogfish is a person exercising the sovereign right of a person in his lordship and mastery of creation” (Percy pg 4). In reference to this quote, Percy states that students do not learn from sitting and listening so they must exclude themselves from the existing educational ways and become a teacher learning through experience like field work so that they have a full understanding of the topics. 

Next students can use learning such as, out of class electronic resources like Khan Academy in which students can watch videos, play learning games, and get tested on the information they know. In reference to Percy, having Khan Academy helps the student become independent from the teacher and allows the student to take back their learning rights, “The thing is twice lost to the consumer. First, sovereignty is lost: it is theirs, not his. Second, it is radically devalued by theory” (Percy pg 6). This activity is dependent on the student and the ease that they can access or exit this program at any time. Khan Academy will help the student due to the easily accessible website and by this fun way of learning. Students will use Khan Academy to visually see helpful techniques to aid them in the study of Biology.  First they will create an account through the website, then students will watch videos on specific topics including processes like cellular respiration, cell division and to fully grasp the topic that is being focused on. Students have access to thousands of videos depending on the topic and lesson that are there to help the student grow. They will sign on whenever they need to answer questions, try experiments, and to challenge themselves with Biology. If a student has to learn a certain topic, he or she can learn at their own pace and on their own time, taking their learning capabilities into their own hands. In doing so, the students emancipate themselves from the teachers, creating their own responsibilities and taking education and turning it upside down. It will take the student, and make the student the teacher as referenced by Freire “Education thus becomes an act of depositing, in which the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor” (Freire Page 1). Freire along with Percy believe that the student needs to become emancipated from the old ways to actually grasp learning thoroughly and to fully understand what learning means to every student, not just what their told to learn.

Lastly, students can take part in student led tutoring sessions which are outside the classroom and involve the same material as the classroom. They will take the initiative to teach the curriculum that is taught in biology classes. Students will switch each week from teacher to student because most of the learning will be received when the students are teaching. These sessions will happen after every class so that the information is still fresh in the students mind. The sessions are there to help the student teach, which will help to increase the knowledge potential of the student. In doing so, they will be able to understand the subject or topic in a different way from the lecture. The sessions are a voluntary decision but will help boost the information and the confidence in the student. Every tutoring session will be different depending on the lesson, helping to enhance the knowledge of the student. According to Percy, “(There is always, of course, the direct recovery: A student may simply be strong enough, brave enough, clever enough to take the dogfish and the sonnet by storm, to wrest control of it from the educators and the educational package)”(Percy pg 5), Percy touches on the basis of this idea that a student can remove themselves from the traditional education system. When they do that, they create a new way of learning in which the student is teaching and retaining more information rather than sitting and taking in information from someone else. This involvement will help the student become a teacher because of the new knowledge that they are gaining.

In conclusion, students may take the initiative to do what they can do to emancipate themselves from the old ways of our education system. Having students do something other than lecture will help tremendously because they will be the ones doing the work unlike lectures where teachers tell us information to learn. Students will be doing biology labs where they can dissect animals and specimen that will be different every time. Going and seeing the plants and animals at nature preserves, doing work and watching videos on programs like Khan Academy, and having student led tutoring sessions. In doing so, students will prosper with the new learning ways, having the students take the stand and do experiments and be the person to make the instructions will be a big asset to the student in the world, only raising our students up to be confident and passionate leaders.