Bok Center receives grant to support writing in Gen Ed courses

December 6, 2018
Davis Educational Foundation Grant

The Bok Center was recently awarded a grant of $241,042 to support the development, delivery, and assessment of writing assignments in Harvard’s new General Education curriculum.

One of the most significant curricular initiatives underway at Harvard College is the launch of a thoroughly revised General Education curriculum in Fall 2019. In recognition of the many challenges and opportunities which this new curriculum represents for Harvard, the Bok Center has forged a partnership with the Program in General Education through which we are working closely with Program faculty as they design their assignments and syllabi and plan their in-class activities. Because the new curriculum is particularly interested in tracking affective change in its students, Bok is focusing on developing a culture of meaningful, metacognitively rich writing assignments—meaningful both in terms of their effectiveness in teaching students to think and communicate more cogently and persuasively, and in terms of their authentic connection to students’ interests and concerns.

Among the initiatives to be funded by the grant, received from the Davis Educational Foundation established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Mr. Davis's retirement as chairman of Shaw's Supermarkets, Inc., are (1) the provision of bespoke writing support for individual faculty focused on assignment design, sequencing, and feedback; (2) a series of five intensive course design institutes for General Education faculty, which will feature a pronounced emphasis on creating a community of practice around effective writing pedagogy; and (3) the creation of durable online resources focused on trans-disciplinary writing pedagogy, which make the materials and methods developed by the Bok Center accessible to instructors throughout the Harvard community and beyond. These initiatives will be headed up by the Bok Center’s Assistant Director for Writing Pedagogy and its Gen Ed team, with additional support from the Harvard College Writing Program.

The Bok Center thanks the Davis Educational Foundation for its generous support.