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WELCOME TO THE

CALDERWOOD SEMINARS IN PUBLIC WRITING

I feel like First-Year Writing was “Writing for College” and this class was “Writing for Life.”

– WELLESLEY COLLEGE STUDENT

In Calderwood Seminars, students learn to translate complex arguments and professional jargon in order to make their writing accessible and interesting to a broad audience.

These small seminars employ active learning and are designed around short writing assignments, usually 500 to 1,000 words, that might appear in a blog, magazine, newspaper, or other media outlet. Students revisit knowledge acquired in other courses and shape it for general readers, producing Academic Minutes, book and film reviews, interviews and profiles, op-eds, and other forms of public writing. Course mechanics involve a weekly rhythm of outside-of-class peer editing, in-class workshopping, and delivery of multiple drafts. Students rotate each week between the roles of editor and writer. Calderwood Seminars are offered in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. The skills they teach should be central to a liberal arts education as they are important to life beyond college.

How are
Calderwood
Seminars different
from other courses?

Who takes
Calderwood
Seminars?

Why should
students take a
Calderwood
Seminar?

Who teaches
Calderwood
Seminars?

How do faculty
benefit from
Calderwood
Seminars?

What training
is available for
prospective
Calderwood
Seminar faculty?

How do students who have completed Calderwood Seminars use the skills they acquired?

Where are
Calderwood
Seminars
offered?

“Public writing requires students to learn how to write clearly and concisely, with purpose and an awareness of their audience. This is valuable whatever path a student chooses to take. At the same time, these seminars give students the opportunity to explain something in writing to a non-expert. In order to do that you need to have a deep understanding of what you are talking about.”

– David L. Lindauer, creator and director of the Calderwood Seminars in Public Writing Program

To learn more about the Calderwood Seminars and how they benefit students and faculty, watch David Lindauer’s presentation, What the Calderwood SeminarsTeach Us About Our Students and Ourselves.

  • 0:00–2:00
  • Slideshow of student and faculty quotes
  • 2:00–7:25
  • Introduction, Paula Johnson, president of Wellesley College
  • 7:25–18:00
  • Opening Remarks, David L. Lindauer
  • 18:00–35:58
  • Calderwood Seminar Design and Mechanics
  • 35:58–55:45
  • Benefits to Students
  • 55:45–1:00:50
  • Benefits to Faculty
  • 1:00:50–1:07:02
  • Implications and Concluding Thoughts
  • 1:07:02–1:18:15
  • Q&A

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