Synopses & Reviews
"Engaging Ideas surprised me. I didn't expect to like it, but I really did. I didn't expect to find so much in it that would cause me to pause and reflect on my own practices as a teacher, but this is exactly what happened repeatedly. I didn't expect to find the writing so sprightly an attention-holding, but it was. And I didn't expect that I would decide to change the nature of the writing assignments I give students as a result of this book, but I have....An excellent resource for faculty across all disciplines who long for ways of improving student writing and thinking skills." —Howard B. Altman, director, Linguistics Program, University of Louisville Engaging Ideas is a practical nuts-and-bolts guide for teachers from any discipline who want to design interest-provoking writing and critical thinking activities and oncorporate them into their courses in a way that encourages inquiry, exploration, discussion, and debate. The book also shows how writing can easily be integrated with such other critical thinking activities as inquiry discussions, simulation games, classroom debates, interactive lectures, and more—helping transform students from passive to active learners.
JOHN C. BEAN is professor of English at Seattle University, where he directs the writing program and chairs the Task Force on Teaching and Learning. He is coauthor (with John D. Ramage) of Writing Arguments (3rd ed., 1995) and Form and Surprise in Composition (1986).
A practical nuts and bolts guide for teachers from any discipline who want to design interest-provoking writing and critical thinking activities. Engaging Ideas
- Shows how teachers can encourage inquiry, exploration, discussion, and debate in their courses.
- Presents a wide variety of strategies for stimulating active learning and for coaching writing and critical thinking.
- Offers teachers concrete advice on how to design courses, structure assignment, use class time, critique student performance, and model critical thinking activities.
- Demonstrates how writing can easily be integrated with such other critical thinking activities and inquiry discussions, simulation games, classroom debates, and interactive lectures.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 267-274) and index.
About the Author
"John Bean's book is aptly named. The ideas in it are engaging; they engage the audience, the college professor, in thinking and rethinking the ways in which writing can be used to stimulate thinking and learning in any discipline.... Bean's style is clear, to the point, and jargon-free. He explains theories of learning and writing with such lucidity that readers see clearly the implications for teaching." (National Writing Project)
Table of Contents
Using Writing to Promote Thinking: A Busy Professor's Guide to the Whole Book.
UNDERSTANDING CONNECTIONS BETWEEN THINKING AND WRITING.
How Writing is Related to Critical Thinking.
Engaging All Learners: Valuing Professional and Personal Writing.
Dealing with Issues of Grammar and Correctness.
DESIGNING PROBLEM-BASED ASSIGNMENTS.
Formal Writing Assignments.
Informal, Exploratory Writing Activities.
COACHING STUDENTS AS LEARNERS, THINKERS, AND WRITERS.
Designing Tasks for Active Thinking and Learning.
Helping Students Read Difficult Texts.
Coaching Thinking Through the Use of Small Groups.
Alternative Approaches to Active Learning in the Classroom.
Enhancing Learning and Critical Thinking in Essay Exams.
Encouraging Engagement and Inquiry in Research Papers.
READING, COMMENTING ON, AND GRADING STUDENT WRITING.
Coaching the Writing Process and Handling the Paper Load.
Writing Comments on Students' Papers.
Developing and Applying Grading Criteria.