Note from the editor
29 May 2000
am back! Last month my colleague Jamie Grasser took over while
I attended to my own doctoral studies. She did an outstanding job, and I
commend her willingness to take on this operation during the final weeks
of a very hectic semester. Bravo, Jamie! And of course none of us could
continue our work on this journal without the help and support of Ben
Varner, faculty advisor par excellence.
Next month will be a combined issue, while all of us prepare for (dare I
say it?) a new school year to begin. Therefore, expect the July/August
issue to be full of outstanding articles and a continuation of a new
column we are starting this month: faculty syllabi. I took a doctoral
seminar in curriculum building with Dr. Linda Serra Hagedorn this Spring,
and she had each of us construct, or revise, syllabi as part of a final
project. I decided to ask many of my classmates to submit their syllabi
for what I hope will become an ongoing and popular column in Extra. This
month I am including my syllabus from USC's infamous composition course,
Writing 140. I am also publishing Linda's own syllabus from our graduate
curriculum course. Both syllabi are working documents, so I hope you will
find them useful and inspirational for your own pedagogical purposes.
I have trained incoming writing instructors at USC, using my syllabus as
an example of how to import humor into what is traditionally a rather "dry"
document. I figure the syllabus is a student's first glimpse into the
future of a course; why not be funny, and yet serious at the same time?
Let me know what you think!
Other pieces for your consideration this month include Phil Brocato's
analysis of high schools qua prisons, using Foucault and Noguera as
critical support. Peg Tittle offers us a plan for implementing academic
skills into an ethical curriculum. Gil Matamoros queries the present
system of secondary assessment and evaluation. Lee Larsen questions the
usefulness of a required literary criticism course at her university.
Maureen Connolly prepares us for the GRE - a dreaded exam whose difficulty
may be lessened with proper preparation, she suggests. Connie Frappiea
gives us two unique and intellectually stimulating creative pieces, which,
while they do not directly address the issue of education, nonetheless
demonstrate outstanding skill and superior insight into human relationships.
Last, but certainly not least, is a piece by Melissa Penn, a student of
mine from USC who ponders the meaning of higher education in this decade,
from a college freshman's perspective.
Enjoy! We encourage you, as usual, to provide feedback on what you like,
or what you would like to see more of. Also, please consider submitting
some of your own work, or that of colleagues in your department, which
speaks to the subject of education. Brief thank yous to Peter, our
Webmaster, Steve Pec, Editor of AEQ, Linda Hagedorn, my advisor at USC,
Meredith and Justin, our contributing editors, Ben, Jamie, and all of you
who read and support this publication.
Wishing you a pleasant and productive summer,