Stephanie West-Puckett is a rhetoric and composition scholar who specializes in equity and access in writing pedagogy and assessment, writing program administration, and digital, queer, and maker-centered composition practices. She earned her PhD in English (Rhetoric, Writing, and Professional Communication) from East Carolina University in 2017. West-Puckett has served as the Associate Director of the Tar River Writing Project and Director of the FYW Studio at ECU, and she has been a co-PI on over $200,000 of education grants. West-Puckett has published peer-reviewed scholarship on writing assessment, connectivist MOOCs, National Writing Project administration, and digital writing.
One of the most difficult challenges of teaching first-year writing at the university level is moving students from a set of tightly held, prescriptive beliefs about what constitutes good writing into a space where they can broadly consider the unique rhetorical situation of every composition. Each semester, multiple students tell me they’ve never written anything for school other than a five-paragraph essay, and they look at me incredulously when I tell them that their thesis might not be best located in the last sentence of their first paragraph. They tell me good writers put five to seven sentences in every paragraph and never use contractions, and I tell them that this semester, we’re going to break all those rules and write with more than words on a page or a screen, just to see what might happen.
This collection of resources demonstrates the ways that middle school teachers at a high needs middle school in Eastern North Carolina are transforming their professional learning and teaching practices with Connected Learning frameworks.
In mid-January, the Tar River Writing Project (TRWP) launched TRWP Connect, a professional development partnership with EB Aycock Middle School to engage faculty in exploring connected learning theory and practice.
One of the most exciting features of the Making Connected Learning Connected (#clmooc) experience has been the regular Google Hangouts On Air we’ve hosted during each Make Cycle. As synchronous events broadcast live and archived on the NWP Make With Me blog page, these sessions provided an opportunity to share what we were working on during each week’s Make Cycle, invited participants into the larger conversation, and helped us dig deeper into the Connected Learning Principles that underpinned each week’s explosion of making and sharing.