Revolution Lullabye

November 17, 2010

McMullen and Wellman, Writing Programs Outside the English Department

McMullen, Judith Q., and J. Douglas Wellman. “Writing Programs Outside the English Department: An Assessment of a Five-Year Program.” WPA: Writing Program Administration 14 (Fall/Winter 1990): 17-26. Print.

The authors describe the independent Writing Improvement Program at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, created in 1982 in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Resources, and interpret the results of a five-year review survey sent to graduates from the School about the kinds of writing they did in the WIP and how or if the program helped them be more effective writers. The results indicate that the students find the program valuable (if not during college, then after in the work world) and that the program needs to think about who should be teaching in the WIP – experts in the disciplines? those in the English department?

Notes and Quotes

structure of the program: certain courses are writing-intensive, a consultant from the English Department screens student writing and gives one-on-one tutoring to students who are determined to need this kind of help.

April 21, 2009

Mentkowski, Learning That Lasts

Mentkowski, Marcia and Associates. Learning That Lasts: Integrating Learning, Development, and Performance in College and Beyond. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2000.

This book explains an educational theory of learning, growth, and performance that was developed through 24 years of research into the abilities and activities of Alverno College students and alumna. The goal of college education, they argue, should be learning that is lasting, and the results of that kind of learning take time to emerge, but continue past graduation. Alverno College’s entire curriculum and assessment is built around the idea of learning that lasts; students are evaluated based on their proficiencies in eight compentency areas. Students are not given traditional grades; rather, their assessment is activity-based through continuous observation, judgment, self-reflection, and feedback. Their educational theory places a large emphasis on performance: real learning does not take place until it is performed through an integration of doing and knowing, both during college and after.

Quotable Quotes

Performance – “The integration of knowing and doing – in class and off campus.” (228) not just application of knowledge

“The way graduates solve problems, interact with others, communicate, and express their values in actin tell us about hte quality of their education and how that education counts in their lives and the lives of those they touch” (175).

“From a systems point of view, the true outcomes of college occur in the interaction of the college experience with the postcollege environment” (175).

“Learning that is lasting – that is, mindful and emotional, intellectual and committed – characterizes the lifelong learner who becomes a seeker, a pligrim, a pathfinder to integrity” (1)

Notable Notes

8 competencies measured along six developmental levels

Communication; Analysis; Problem Solving; Valuing in Decision-Making; Social Interaction; Global Perspectives; Effective Citizenship; Aesthetic Responsiveness

Alverno is all-women

how do students construct meaning out of their education? sustain this meaning?

the ability to self-assess, to reflect and evaluate one’s work is a mark of intellectual maturity, be a performer and contributor in work, civic, and personal lives

move to validate the scholarship of teaching, establish a college culture and faculty that value teaching, create an environment with a constant awareness of reflection and assessment (266)

Principles of learning that lastsĀ  – Chapter 7

four domains of learning that lasts: reasoning, performance, development, self-reflection

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