Every week, I think: I wish we had time to read and discuss more of the many good articles and books that exist on this subject, because we’re skating lightly over the surface of debates that are as interesting as they are pressing– ethically, politically, and practically. But this week, I’m really thinking that.
There are whole rafts of research on disability studies and higher education, and you might look into it when you write your seminar paper.* In fact, it seems truly insufficient to me that we’re reading only one source for this week, and I originally had another article on the syllabus, too. But as I looked at the schedule for this week and realized that we need to talk practically about grading, too, I pared that down, deciding that the other article would be less necessary and useful for you than these chapters from Mad at School.
I know from our discussions that you already perceive our shared obligation to connect students who come with disabilities to resources that can help them succeed in school. I know that you’re sensitive, too, to the fact that those connections can be especially hard to make when our students face other structural obstacles as well– e.g., they suffer disproportionately under local and global systems that are racist, sexist, and economically exploitative.
So let’s take those things as givens and go on to the next question: HOW? The answer, as always, is not simple.
Mad at School might provide some vocabulary for this, as it narrates the experience of seeking resources from the perspective of a person who needs them. And I want to locate this conversation specifically in the resources we have at our disposal here, so I also linked to the site that describes the resources we have at Queens College. We have talked about those resources a bit, and I’m glad we have the chance to talk about it more.
What seems helpful to you here, and what do you still want to know? What should we make sure to discuss in class? THERE IS SO MUCH.
*The seminar paper: It might be smaller in scale than the papers you write for other graduate classes, because you’re also doing the syllabus revision as part of your independent work for the practicum, and you might use your classroom experience as evidence– but, otherwise, it’s a scholarly paper in the same genre.
You might take up a pedagogical question that you began to explore in one (or more) of your blog posts and do independent research and analysis to answer it more fully. You could also take up some issue we haven’t discussed (or have discussed only very briefly) that sparks a scholarly debate that captures your interests in writing/composition/rhetoric pedagogy or the institutional contours of higher education.
Since we have been treating so many subjects so swiftly, you should find it easy to identify something that you want to know more about– to develop your pedagogy, or to answer questions that linger for you about how/why to teach writing and literature at Queens College (and elsewhere). The seminar paper gives you an opportunity to learn more.
If you want to talk about your paper topic or anything else– as aways–just lmk.