The Basics of Writing in the Education Department
Types of Educational Writing
Students should expect writing assignments to be informal. Outside of the introductory class, EDUC 205 Foundations of Education where students write a research paper, in general, writing in the Education Department typically lacks a focus on research. Instead, students complete informal writing assignments, primarily Lesson Plans, in their courses.
In addition to lesson plans, students should also expect to write reflective papers on how their thoughts of education or an instructional technique have changed as a result of the coursework or practicum experiences in local schools.
General Formatting Guidelines
Education professors expect students to follow the guidelines designated by APA. For more information, please see the Writer's Web page on APA formatting and citing.
Outside following the guidelines for writing lesson plans, Dr. Stohr emphasizes that writing style is individualized. Some students will write lesson plans using phrases, while others choose to write in complete sentences. Students should not prioritize format in their writing, but the focus should be on the clarity of their prose.
Additionally, the format of lesson plans need to be sequentially logical. Assume that the reader lacks any knowledge. This mentality will help writers make clear connections from Activity A -> Activity B -> Activity C and therefore creates a logical sequence of instruction.
Students should pay special attention to their reflections. They should be cautious of writing reflections filled with extraneous and irrelevant thoughts. Just because these lack formality, (i.e. these reflections break the rule that first person should never be used in academic writing (Hjortshoj 88)), this does not justify students to write about surface-level observations. These assignments lack substantial amounts of academic research, but professors still look for conciseness. Make sure that your analysis includes how your perception of a teaching experience has changed or what questions still remain for you.
Educational jargon should not be included in lesson plans because these terms over-complicate the concise teaching sequence from one activity to the next. However, both professors expressed how a better understanding of the term Pedagogy would improve students' writing. Pedagogy refers to the practice and correct use of instructional activities in the classroom.