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My name is Lesley, though I spend most days responding to the inquiries of junior high English students, who call me Ms. Machon. I am writing with the intent of sharing my academic pursuits and research, and the perspective which informs my teaching style. My hope is that you might find my work consequential and intriguing enough to consider corroborating my efforts. At this time, I am requesting contributions to subsidize my attendance at The Learner in Athens, Greece on the date of June 21, 2018 during which I will be exhibiting my work. The titles of the papers I am to present are as follows: The Procession from Passion to Empowerment: On the Relationship Between Literacy and Delight, and The Student as Subject: Agents of Learning not Objects of Assessment.
These two topics are not only personal penchants, but of interest and significance to the global literary and teaching community. The first, is a question of engagement. At a time when students are reportedly more likely to own a smartphone than a paperback, I discuss the relationship between delight and invitation, drawing on the literature about narrative worlds and my classroom experience, to foster curiosity and connection between students and books. By concretizing abstract concepts, I offer tangible ways of letting texts speak to students, and invite them into an ongoing relationship with the art of narrativity.
My second paper addresses empowerment. What implications does it have for the classroom, if teachers relate to students as objects of our assessment? What can be done to create an experience of self-assertion and sustainable motivation, in which students take responsibility for their own learning? I hope, to the inevitable dismay of administrative bureaucrats, to present realistic and achievable ways to transform the experience of the disengaged, disempowered student.
Thank you for your time and attention.
Gratefully, collaboratively, and imaginatively yours,
Ms. Lesley Machon