Statement of pedagogy and vision

      • Pedagogies and practices for a teaching-focused university

        Active teachers and writers from the Department of English and elsewhere, our Writing Centre instructors are pedagogically and theoretically informed and have a wealth of expertise on writing and rhetoric as well as publishing and editing.  Common to all our expertise is the belief that to focus attention on writing is to foster care about basic processes of intellectual inquiry, both imaginative and analytical.  And we believe that equipping students with specific skills and literacies in a variety of print and digital forms is a strong predictor of success both in and out of university. 

        Multiple discourses, networks of knowledge:  Student writing is always culturally situated in specific academic modes and contexts, and to be a center for excellence in undergraduate writing we wish to facilitate a broad awareness of this amongst both students and faculty.  Writers move through a range of writing expectations, contexts, forms.  Deepening and making more explicit Cap's collective knowledge can create a stronger commitment to student excellence around writing.  We hope you will liaise with us about your assignments and activities, bring your classes to the centre, share your ideas.

        Dialogical pedagogy:  Our writing consultations also seek to model a kind of intellectual engagement where learning is interpersonal and active.  For complex reasons, these basic forms of engagement and interaction can be difficult to foster, yet such individual connections to the institution can be vital to student success.

        One-on-one consultations about a student's writing means we tailor instruction in a way that affirms the uniqueness of a student's own process, practice, and voice. The dialogical nature of the instruction also means students can observe the effects of their writing on a trained reader and develop the sense of audience so important to effective writing.  Close involvement with faculty also cultivates and affirms a student's sense of belonging to the academic community and culture.  This cultural value is important, for instance, in supporting international students for whom English is an additional language, or students needing a better appreciation of intellectual integrity in a research community.

        Academic integrity and student help 

        To adhere to university standards of academic integrity, faculty cannot heavily edit or revise student work which will be submitted for grading.  However, Writing Centre instructors do offer edits and revisions in ways that enable students to continue the work independently and can support students throughout the revising process.  We can also go over graded work in detail. We ask that instructors make this standard known to students regarding academic honesty so they don't misunderstand the kind of support we provide.