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Writing in Education (1 Viewer)

JohnN

Senior Member
Wow, a radically new idea. I am quite competitive myself so always liked the idea of grades, if nothing but for comparison. However, now I have finished school, I do appreciate writing for writings sake and I enjoy it.

Your new idea may make the admission people think you are crazy or adventurous. Educators are suppossed to find new ways to enrich students learning experiences and this may be it.

I would definitely keep your journaling in their but it does take up too much space, cut it down a few paragraphs and fill the rest with things like....

why I should be admitted
what you will get from the course
what you can contribute to the school
maybe your future plans
exactly why you fell in love with educating

Overall though its a well written piece. I would accept you!
 

Cran

Da Boss Emeritus
Patron
elibats, without knowing the philosophy of the intended school, the tolerance limits of the judging panel, and the guidelines for the required essay, it is difficult to make firm assessments or advice.

This is the first draft of my grad school application essay. I'm applying for my Masters in Education. I have a few specific questions:

1) Do I focus too much on the journaling exercise?
2) Where should I elaborate?
3) Are there any parts that sound too casual?

Thanks for any help you might be able to give me :)

7

**************************************

My fascination with middle school students stems from my vivid and painful memories of those three years, sixth- through eighth grade. My footing on the social ladder was shaky, and every idle moment was spent worrying that I wasn’t wearing the right clothes, that I wasn’t in the “cool crowd,” or that everyone was talking about me behind my back. I assume that this is an experience shared by many, if not most, middle school students, and I have a strong desire to ease the agony of adolescence by helping students to express themselves, especially through writing. On a quick read through, this is your best par, and would be a strong opener for an essay. Do you really need to include your CV in the essay at all?


During my junior year of high school (years before applying to Hampshire College, where there are no grades or tests) I asked my American Literature and Classical Literature teachers not to show me my grades on my papers or tests. I felt, as most Hampshire students do, that reading and processing my teachers’ written comments were enough to tell me whether they’d interpreted my work as excellent, good, mediocre or poor. I saw (and still see) no reason to attach percentages and alphabet symbols to any educational endeavor.

In my ideal classroom, there would be no grades or tests. Student writing, projects and activities would not be judged using numbers or letters, but evaluated individually. I do not believe that students would use the no-grades system as an excuse to “slack off,” because an outstanding written evaluation is as desirable as an A, just as a poor evaluation is as much to be feared as an F.

I realize that my views on grading are not shared by the majority of educators, but in my future years as a middle school English teacher I hope to put my theory into practice on a small level, namely through daily, grade-free journal writing.

The exercise of writing in a journal is possible for, and valuable to, anyone who has been taught to form letters on a piece of paper with a writing implement. If my future school allows me a small amount of freedom in designing my curriculum, I intend to dedicate as much of the students’ time as possible to free-writing.

If at all possible within the constraints of the school’s standardized usage of class time, I would set aside a small amount of time each day (or each week if it must be so) for silent journaling. The written works created during this time would be shared periodically with an assigned group. If I were allowed to execute the journal-writing exercise daily, which is a far-fetched idea in regards to traditional schools, I would set up groups of three to four students, who would meet once a week at least, for the sharing of writing. Every weekend the student would take home the journal of someone else in his or her group, read the partner’s entries, and write a one page response in the partner’s journal.

I would check the journals to make sure a page was written per day, but I would ignore spelling, grammar, punctuation and neatness. I believe in the correct usage of the English language to an almost arrogant degree, but for the purpose of free-writing it is important to let one’s guard down and try not to analyze every line scratched on the paper.
I don't know if you will be expected to defend your essay in the same way Masters and PhD applicants must defend their theses; if so, then you will likely be challenged on your personal philosophy towards education and the fundamentals of English ...

you will also perhaps be asked to explain how a personal subjective grading system differs from a standardised objective grading system in any practical way other than making it more difficult for state and national authorities, and potential employers, to assess the effectiveness of an institution's ability to teach, and of the students thus graduated ...
 

JohnN

Senior Member
Quite true,

Different schools, have different philosophies, what one school will love, others will hate. So try and think about that, when drafting this essay.
 

elibats

Senior Member
I decided to delete the parts about not wanting grades or tests, as they need more explanation and could provoke controversy. I also deleted a few of the paragraphs about journaling, trying to retain the general idea.

Thanks all for your help!

Polly
 

JohnN

Senior Member
Glad to be of service. Try and distinguish yourself though. Make sure it doesn't end up too boring.
 
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