The Classroom as an Evolving Genre
Genres allow us to communicate with each other and challenge our thoughts. Genres have been emerging and evolving because of sociological and psychological aspects. Classrooms can be considered a genre of their own due to the fact they are in constant evolution but they are a genre within the genre that is schools. The genre of classrooms branches out to the evolution of our thoughts and the evolution of the classroom as a learning space and the technology that enriches our experience. For the longest time, classrooms have been defined as enclosed spaces where students go to learn. It is a collaborative effort between students and professors to make classrooms a safe and confortable environment that inspires students to disagree without launching personal attacks, stereotyping, judging, and encourages and expects everyone to respectfully disagree without disagreeing with you as a whole. Students often bring their own experiences and expectations on what they would like to learn. The classroom is constantly evolving as a genre because vigorous discussions encourage us students to challenge each other’s opinions for the sake of better understanding of the lessons at hand as well as the world outside the classroom. It is important for me to find that balance without losing my identity is something that can be a positive experience if I feel I can trust my classmates and professors when I express myself without worrying about being stereotyped or have assumptions being made without being asked to clarify my views. With that being said, the genre of ourselves, our character (addressed on the first day of class) is interlinked with the evolution of the classroom. Being part of creating a safe environment for learning, growing and understanding not only of self but of others, will allow me to develop who I am and also aid the larger community.
The classroom as a space has evolved throughout the years. Nowadays, the classroom can be wherever a professor choses (indoors or outdoors) depending on the subject matter that is being taught. When writing about classrooms, we must make reference to seating arrangements. Seating arrangements have changed teaching methods and can set the tone for a class. From personal experiences in this course (Literary Kinds), I find that sitting on a large table with my classmates allows me to closely interact with my classmates, I can see the person behind the thoughts and ideas, not just hear her from afar. This also forces me to come more prepared to class because I know that there is a larger possibility of me having to engage in a discussion. In this given environment it is easier a professor to jump into the discussion and push us to challenge our thoughts more than usual. On the other hand, courses that only feature lectures can often limit student participation, which leads to having a stating genre with minimal student input.
What makes this genre so compelling is that feedback is the force behind its success. Feedback has the power to mold discussions and help modify curriculums in order to enrich the learning experience. This applies to written work as well; detailed comments allow students to fully benefit from the assignment.
The evolution of the classroom as a genre is not complete without technology. Classrooms have come a long way due to the exponential advances in technology. Technology expands beyond just reading texts, helps demonstrate concepts, assign projects and assess progress it engages students who learn in different ways. Our course Literary Kinds is a living testimony because in the coming weeks we will be reading Rebecca Skloot’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”, that reading will be complemented by episode of “Law and Order” based on the book and a BBC recoding as well.
Nowadays, educational institutions, high schools and universities, offer students the opportunity of taking courses online. This forum allows students to take courses that may not be offered at their institution at their own pace wherever they want. People do not have to be members of a school, in terms of a physical space, but still benefit from a learning experience.
The evolution of technology as a genre has been rapid but it is set to be evolving for a long time because the challenge of determining what works best for a classroom and keeping up with the pace of each advancement will always exist.
Alongside the space we call classroom and the technology that enriches the experience of being in that physical space, comes the evolvement of ourselves. This is the most important genre out of the ones I have mentioned because our need to give and take constructive criticism makes us improve as human beings and with that growth we can contribute to the evolvement of classrooms and technology as genres.