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FAQ: Why should we and how can we employ theme-based coursework in a basic writing classroom?

This FAQ developed by Justin Endow and James LeDoux, graduate students in Karen Uehling’s course at Boise State University, Fall 2006.

Susan Naomi Bernstein notes that there is a changing demographic in todayís colleges and universities; namely, that of non-traditional adults returning with wide and varied real world experiences (174). As a result, the face of the basic writing student is changing as well. How we approach meeting the needs of such a diverse group of students in the classroom is a challenge that all basic writing instructors currently face.

As our society further embraces cultural diversity, we must also diversify our instruction methods to meet the needs of all students who desire to improve themselves through continued education. One way that we can do this is to change the way we offer basic writing courses. By offering a variety of classes, each of which is based on a different theme, we allow students to find classes that pique interest and boost learning motivation. Additionally, when we approach the theme-based class with a series of open-ended questions that draw on each individualís experiences, we meet the needs of all students, traditional and non-traditional alike.

Follow the links below for further information about inquiry and theme-based basic writing courses:

Theme-Based Courses Home Page

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Page last modified on March 11, 2007, at 05:03 PM