National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Published in Innovations in Undergraduate Research and Honors Education: Proceedings of the Second Schreyer National Conference 2001, ed. Josephine M. Carubia & Renata S. Engel. Copyright © 2004 The National Collegiate Honors Council.


Typically at Penn State University, Honors English Composition (30) is offered fall semester as a pre-requisite for Honors Speech Communication 100, offered in the spring. This arrangement may reflect the intellectual shifts within these disciplines, implicitly signifying the distance that has grown ~etween them and casting in relief the question of who "owns" rhetoric. In developing our courses in Speech and Composition, we sought to close this rift and in so doing create a community for our students in which issues in speech are explicitly recognized as issues in writing and vice versa. In addition, we wanted to create a new model for collaboration and team teaching, one that would embrace flexibility and integration, and demonstrate how teachers and students may work together toward common goals. To reinforce this sense of common investment, we decided to share a topic: both classes would focus on the presidential election. Jeffs class would examine how the media arbitrate political discourse; Sandy's class would explore the construction of leadership historically. This paper will describe our model in more detail, the issues such an approach raises, and our conclusions regarding its success and potential promise for teachers and students in a variety of learning contexts.