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Weekly Responses – Weekly Writing & Blogs

Final Project

Sean Redding 

Randall Cream

WRT120

December 6th, 2019 

Changes at West Chester University

         The immense struggle to focus in non-interactive classes is excruciating for most students throughout college. Sitting through an hour-long class of a professor talking loses the attention of many students, and as a result, reflects on their grades in that class. It is not only a waste of time for the students, but also for the professors as they spend days of their time preparing a lecture that many loose accounts for and have trouble keeping up with. My program proposition to solve this very common issue is for West Chester University to enforce more interactive classes, as well as introduce the reverse classroom method to many classrooms across campus. By introducing this new method, I believe it will be solving a large issue of staying focused in non-interactive classes. West Chester University will have high benefit as a result of this new program, as will the students who are actively apart of the school’s academic environment. By making these changes, West Chester University would also be catering to the educational theories of Percy and Freire by supporting their thoughts that students should have more control over their education and gain skills that may have been overlooked in a specified major.

         The new interactive program would include many components that would ultimately lead to the academic gain of the student, and the convenience of professors. Firstly, I propose that students be required to spend a certain amount of hours per semester doing out of class experiences related to their majors such as internships, shadows, and extended programs. For example, a nursing major may volunteer at a local hospital alongside professional nurses. The students would need to write reflections after each experience, and at the end of the semester, write an essay on how those experiences have aided to their major. Throughout these tasks, professors should remain active with students and would be required to meet with students a certain amount of times throughout the semester to discuss progress and personal questions the student may have. I believe that in doing this, students will be able to ask questions they may have been afraid to ask in classes and also would allow professors to gain a greater understanding for the student’s progress as well as use this observation to see what may need to be changed in class. It will also allow students who may have trouble paying attention during lectures to engage in discussions throughout class. In addition to these changes, the reverse classroom method would be inducted into many classrooms around West Chester University. This involves the professor giving a certain topic or reading for students to dissect and learn during their own time, then would come into class and have an open discussion with the students about said topic. By doing this, students with different learning styles would be able to teach themselves in a way that caters to their own needs, as well as allowing them to spend as much time on a section as they need. This new change would also benefit the university credentials as a whole, since this method would be allowing more students to retain information and understand more than before and therefore reflecting on their grades. With these new changes, I am almost certain that the direct outcome will be rewarding and make learning more enjoyable for both students and professors across West Chester University’s campus

         One great result from implementing interactive learning environments at WCU is that students with different learning styles will be able to learn in ways that are beneficial to themselves. Research proves that student’s individual learning styles are all unique to themselves and that person. With the reverse classroom aspect of the new learning program at West Chester University, students will be able to teach themselves topics and later discuss them in class, allowing each individual student to use methods that specifically cater to their learning needs. This immensely benefits the student, as they are retaining the material in class through a method that directly benefits their learning style. Freire’s ideas of students falling into the routine of academics is supported, as he states, “Narration (with the teacher as the narrator) leads the students to memorize mechanically the narrated content. Worse yet, it turns them into ‘containers,’ into ‘receptacles’ to be ‘filled’ by the teacher” (Freire, pg.1). I believe this interprets to a lecture style class being repetitive and constantly having teachers at the head of the class, and this is something I am proposing we change.

         With this new learning program, students will also benefit from keeping active in discussions in class. The interactive aspects of the class will allow for students to take charge and stay active by vocalizing thoughts and experiences in class while also being able to have the required hours of activities beneficial to their major. This solves a common issue of students getting distracted or having trouble paying attention in lecture style classes. Freire explains the typical roles of students and professors in a true concept, stating “A. The teacher teaches, and the students are taught. B. The teacher knows everything, and the student knows nothing” (Freire, Pg.2).  Freire seems to suggest that professors are constantly put in the role of high power and students are never in control. With this change, the student has the ability to take charge.

         Not only will this program benefit the students, but it will also benefit the professors. With the required meetings with students throughout the semester, I believe that the professors will be able to gain a greater knowledge as to how much students are understanding the topics and ultimately result in professors knowing what needs to be improved as a whole class as well as individual students. Freire expresses his thoughts on how teachers perceive knowledge in a classroom in an incorrect manor, saying “The teacher confuses the authority of knowledge, with his or her own professional authority, which she and he sets in opposition to the freedom of the students” (Freire, pg.2).  With this quote, Freire is acknowledging the common mindset of professors having authority over knowledge, and I believe with the required meetings, professors have the chance to allow students to give them insight on how classes need to improve.

         This program would be positively affecting West Chester University’s credentials and reputation as a whole. With all of the changes being made, students will be able to retain more knowledge from classes than the previous methods, therefore leading to better grades on tests and essays. The university as a whole would be benefitting if a higher percentage of students had higher grades. As Freire states in his explains in his writings about the resolution of student

Teacher standards, “To resolve the student-teacher contradiction, to exchange the role of depositor, prescriber, domesticator, for the role of student among students would be to undermine the power of oppression and serve the cause of liberation” (Freire, pg. 4). In this statement, I believe Freire is stating that if these common behaviors in the classrooms are resolved, it will ultimately benefit the educational community as a whole cause.

         The Interactive and reverse classroom learning program proposition for West Chester University undoubtedly has an immense amount of benefits for students, teachers, and as an overall community. With benefits that include allowing students to teach themselves in ways beneficial to themselves, keeping active during and outside of class, allowing professors to gain knowledge on student’s needs, and overall raising the university’s credentials, this program would prove to be a much-needed change for our community, as well as support Percy and Freire’s ideas on education.  

Response to Isabella Bedore

On the Thursday discussion group at 12:30 I arrived at the location at 12:30 but was unable to find anyone. I think for future discussion groups the leaders should be more specific in their locations. This discussion group was the only one I was able to attend.

Response to discussion

Members: Laura McGroary

This discussion was about are feelings on the class, what we learned overall, and if we think what we learned will help us in future classes. I said that I felt as if I progressed as the class went on. On the first project, I really struggled with what I was supposed to right about and was a little confused, but then, with all the feedback, I had a better idea of what I was doing for the second one. I do think this class will help me with future classes. This was my first college writing class and it gave me an idea of what my future professors will be expecting from me and how I will need to write to succeed in my future classes. Overall, I felt that this was a good class for helping me understand what college writing is like and I think a lot of my classmates would agree.

Final Draft Project 3 Sean Redding

Sean Redding 

Randall Cream

WRT120

December 6th, 2019 

Changes at West Chester University 

All throughout college many students are forced to sit through gen-ed’s and lectures that easily cause the student to become distracted and unfocused. Even with classes that deal with one’s major, students are prone to zone out in class and retain less information. I believe that one major change that would be beneficial to the overall education community at West Chester would be for the school to enforce more interactive classes as well as bringing the reverse classroom method into action. By allowing classrooms to be more interactive and hands on with the major, students can stay in tune with a class and achieve a higher level of learning. 

A benefit to the interactive classrooms is that students would be able to constantly be kept involved in the class, not allowing students to zone out or lose focus from the class as commonly done in classes that are lectures. A good example of what interaction in classes per major would look like is maybe requiring students to perform a certain amount of hours for some type of mock field work. A more specific example would be for a criminal justice major in pursuit of being a police officer or detective being required to do a internships or ride alongs at the local police departments. Not only would this be a great change from a standard lecture class, but students would also be gaining experience and information on what their desired major would be.

With the ability to interact directly with the major, student can receive the best and most realistic learning experience. As some majors do have this, such as nursing programs in the hospital, and practice teaching in real-life classrooms, but almost all the other major are left in the dust. With these interactive hands-on classes students can get a taste what it is really like in the field, and if they really want to pursue said career. Not only will they be graded based on hours worked, but the student would be graded on weekly reports on what they did for job. This allows for students who can’t pay attention to lectures and normal class setting to learn in a way they can retain the information being taught. 

A common struggle for students with ADHD and ADD is that information is not being taught in an appropriate method for their minds to be absorbing any of the information. Alongside this, it is also extremely difficult for students with these disorders to pay attention in classes when the professors are constantly just giving lectures every class. By allowing students to take part in the reverse classroom methods, these students that have different learning styles will be able to teach themselves information in ways that are beneficial to themselves, seeing that every student has different learning styles and the standard lecture class is not fit for every learning style.  By having reverse classroom styles and expanding the interaction in classrooms, Percy and Freire’s educational theories are being supported in the fact that students at West Chester University would now have more of an opportunity to take charge of their own education. 

Not only does this new improvement benefit the students, it would create a style of teaching for professors. Every week the students will hold a discussion style class directed by the Professor, where they talk about what they did in their hours worked and what they did and did not like. Since many students are nervous and conflicted to speak in open groups, the professor will be required to meet with students periodically and catch up face-to-face. This benefits both professor and student allowing to interact and see how the student is doing in class and being able to make sure the student is grasping the information being taught. Doing this would create a new style of teaching that strays away from traditional lectures and create a new space for students to connect to their professor about the work they’re doing.

I believe that this newly proposed idea would reflect much more significantly on the student’s academic scores. As a direct result of this new method, students will not only have a deeper understanding for classes under a specific major but will have significantly increased scores on tests and projects. For many classes students are unable to understand the information due to the fact that they may not be paying attention in lectures or simply cannot understand, and as a result, will produce poor test marks. Even students that are able to pay full attention to the lecture still have problems with test taking which reflects negatively on their grade. As everyone can agree, students should not be graded on how well they are at taking tests, but how well they received the information being taught. Having a class of students who do not understand the topic fully may also cause distress for professors, as it is a struggle to tend to every student’s needs in the classroom. The University would benefit also from the higher grades and GPAs being produced in said major, and knowing the students are getting the best learning experience. This change can convince upcoming freshman, and students enrolled at other schools to enroll at WCU to learn this new style of teaching. With the interactive classrooms, students will be able to produce higher grades and deeper understandings for the topics overall. 

In the end, working with a company to help further your education would create many opportunities for students looking to excel in school. Not only will the students get to see what they’re going to school for first hand, they will also have the ability to stay away from the normal classroom setting. The many affected by learning disorders such as ADD ADHD will get to learn in a way that helps them instead of hurts them.  With these changes WCU and many colleges alike can change the way students learn.

Response to Meghan K

Group: Meghan, and Sam

In this group discussion, I talked to the leader of the group and explained what we learned from the past semester and how it has impacted us. We talked about how the readings were harder to comprehend at times but it was a good learning experience to take to other classes. We like the topics that were used for each project because for some of them, as students we really agree with them and want a change. We liked how we could use problems that we agreed with and actually write about the problems. Having this course impacted all of us positively and we are glad that we were able to take the course.  We also explained how it was hard in the beginning but as the semester went on, it became easier to write and understand the topics for the readings.

Response to Tyler Evans

Leader: Tyler Evans

Group Members: Sean Redding

This week Tyler and I discussed if this writing course prepared for other WRT courses and improved our writing skills. As discussed, this class I was introduced to a new style of teaching that was very interesting and strayed from other writing courses in the past. Initially I thought the first level of WRT would consist a teacher telling you how to write papers on a college level.  Instead a new way of teaching was introduced where the students are directly involved with other grades, such as peer-reviews and discussion groups. I have seen this done in past classes, but this was different, as one and other were contributed their own thoughts in order to achieve a final product. Although this class had many deadlines which personally is tough for me, this class was preparing the student for higher level courses and real-life jobs where deadlines are normal thing. I do wish more was done during class-time with the assignments, but Prof Cream met with student one on one and got to teach and show what he was looking for in each assignment. In the end this class introduced a new way of teaching that overtime improved my writing skills and ability to make deadlines.

Final discussion post

Topic: Do you think this writing course prepared you for other higher level writing courses and do you think this course has made you a better writer.

I think this course definitely made me a better writer. With the first draft I brought for review, I was told “this is a very high school essay.” I knew exactly what Professor Cream meant. My writing was very structured, but in a bad way. After meeting with professor Cream countless times for edits and brainstorming, I believe my writing improved greatly. I think if I had not taken this course, my writing abilities would not be strong enough to write formal essays for other classes, let alone a higher writing course. This course helped me to understand how to better connect the ideas of others to my own ideas. It also helped me to better understand what effective writing is and what it takes to be a good writer. I also appreciated the in class discussions, as they helped shape my ideas. I will definitely apply the criticisms and critiques I was given by professor cream in the future courses I take. I would definitely recommend this course to all incoming freshman, as it taught me how to break away from the “high school essay” mold.

Project 3 draft sean redding

Sean Redding 

Randall Cream

WRT120

December 6th, 2019 

Changes at West Chester University 

         All throughout college many students are forced to sit through gen-ed’s and lectures that easily cause the student to become distracted and unfocused. Even with classes that deal with one’s major, students are prone to zone out in class and retain less information. I believe that one major change that would be beneficial to the overall education community at West Chester would be for the school to enforce more interactive classes as well as bringing the reverse classroom method into action. By allowing classrooms to be more interactive and hands on with the major, students can stay in tune with a class and achieve a higher level of learning.

A benefit to the interactive classrooms is that students would be able to constantly be kept involved in the class, not allowing students to zone out or lose focus from the class as commonly done in classes that are lectures. A good example of what interaction in classes per major would look like is maybe requiring students to perform a certain amount of hours for some type of mock field work. A more specific example would be for a criminal justice major in pursuit of being a police officer or detective being required to do a internships or ride alongs at the local police departments. Not only would this be a great change from a standard lecture class, but students would also be gaining experience and information on what their desired major would be.        

With the ability to interact directly with the major, student can receive the best and most realistic learning experience. As some majors do have this, such as nursing programs in the hospital, and practice teaching in real-life classrooms, but almost all the other major are left in the dust. With these interactive hands-on classes students can get a taste what it is really like in the field, and if they really want to pursue said career. Not only will they be graded based on hours worked, but the student would be graded on weekly reports on what they did for job. This allows for students who can’t pay attention to lectures and normal class setting to learn in a way they can retain the information being taught.

         A common struggle for students with ADHD and ADD is that information is not being taught in an appropriate method for their minds to be absorbing any of the information. Alongside this, it is also extremely difficult for students with these disorders to pay attention in classes when the professors are constantly just giving lectures every class. By allowing students to take part in the reverse classroom methods, these students that have different learning styles will be able to teach themselves information in ways that are beneficial to themselves, seeing that every student has different learning styles and the standard lecture class is not fit for every learning style.  By having reverse classroom styles and expanding the interaction in classrooms, Percy and Freire’s educational theories are being supported in the fact that students at West Chester University would now have more of an opportunity to take charge of their own education. 

         In the end, working with a company to help further your education would create many opportunities for students looking to excel in school. Not only will the students get to see what they’re going to school for first hand, they will also have the ability to stay away from the normal classroom setting. The many affected by learning disorders such as ADD ADHD will get to learn in a way that helps them instead of hurts them.  With these changes WCU and many colleges alike can change the way students learn.

Response to Bella

Bella Bedore

Adam Griffith

Sam Livorno

How has this class changed the way you view education, in relation to Freire and Percy?

I know that after taking this class and talking to prof Cream about my writing, I will never think of class the same. By realizing that there is an unseen barrier between students and learning or professors and students makes me very interested to see how my next semester classes are going to be like compare to this now ending one.

Discussion Group

Topic: We will discuss what we learned in this class. How we felt about each project and if we feel prepared for writing classes we will take in the future.

Date and Time: Friday 12/6 3 pm

Location: Sykes, Second floor, Center for student involvement

Discussion group 12/6

Do you think the writing groups helped understand the material, and do you think that they can be changed in any way. Also did the writing class help build off of what you already know for writing?

Location: Sykes entrance/ sitting area.

Time: 9:00 am

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