Teaching Social Justice in the Writing Composition Classroom: Rising Up!

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To University of North Georgia’s Professor Lisa Diehl, a liberal arts education at university must include learning that empowers students and prepares them to deal with complexity, diversity, and change. It also helps students develop a sense of social responsibility, strong and transferable intellectual and practical skills, and a demonstrated ability to apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Thus, this approach to composition should empower students to gain a more comprehensive understanding of poverty, privilege, race, and social status through the perspective of others, as well as allow them to examine their own thinking too.

In this session, Professor Diehl will present her social justice composition course plan, which focuses on enhancing her students’ capacity for critically assessing the quality of their own thinking and how it may impact others. Her lesson plan is designed to build comprehension skills through engagement with multiple forms of media, as well as to develop and strengthen critical thinking skills that promote analysis and reflection to improve communication skills and to develop leadership characteristics needed to successfully engage with a global society.

Professor Lisa Diehl teaches English composition and literature classes at the University of North Georgia. She has earned a Graduate Diversity certificate from the University of North Georgia and has over 5 years of teaching English composition at UNG. Professor Diehl is currently working on her dissertation studying the embedded tutoring program she created and implemented at the University of North Georgia, which places writing center tutors in English composition classrooms to assist first-year students with their writing skills. Professor Diehl has also served as chairperson of the permanent section “Teaching Writing in College” for the Midwest Modern Language Association (MMLA) Conference for 2018-2019 and as a chairperson for the Southeastern Modern Language Association (SAMLA) “Teaching Writing in College” forum in 2018 through 2020. In 2018, Professor Diehl was awarded the Governor’s Teaching Fellows program. In 2019, Professor Diehl was awarded “Excellence in Teaching Award” by the administration at the University of North Georgia. She is an internationally published poet with over ten poetry publications exhibiting her work.