Build Your Argument Toolkit: Rhetoric in the K12 Classroom
August 4 and 5, 2015, 8:30 – 4:30, Merrifield Hall 312, UND campus
Eligible for one continuing education credit*
Instructor: Kim Donehower, PhD, Associate Professor of English, UND, former RRVWP Director
The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts place tremendous emphasis on the “evidence-based argument,” but there’s a more important word buried (and sometimes misdefined) in the standards: “rhetoric.” “Rhetoric,” in the classic sense, is the study of persuasion, and it’s difficult to teach students to read or write arguments without it. It encompasses everything from coming up with sound claims to the selection of evidence to audience analysis to persuasive techniques to word choice. This mini-institute is designed to give K12 teachers an introductory course in classical to contemporary rhetoric, so that we might select useful ideas, terms, and techniques for our students and our teaching.
This mini-institute addresses NBPTS standard two: “Accomplished teachers have a rich understanding of the subject(s) they teach […and] develop the critical and analytical capacities of their students. Accomplished teachers command specialized knowledge of how to convey and reveal subject matter to students. They are aware of the preconceptions and background knowledge that students typically bring to each subject and of strategies and instructional materials that can be of assistance…”
Participants in this mini-institute will…
· understand and apply the concepts of rhetorical situation, Aristotelian appeals, and Toulmin terminology for analyzing arguments;
· identify current beliefs and practices which may be limiting students’ learning of argumentation;
· transform some current classroom practices into ones which provide richer, more informed learning situations for students.
Participants must attend all parts of the mini-institute, read and participate in discussions about the readings, and perform as active writers and thinkers during demonstrations and other activities. All participants will produce revised lesson plans and unit ideas incorporating some of the concepts shared in the mini-institute, and will share those products with other participants for feedback.
*Pending university approval