Reconceiving Writing, Rethinking Writing Instruction
Psychology Press, 1995 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 272 pages
To a degree unknown in practically any other discipline, the pedagogical space afforded composition is the institutional engine that makes possible all other theoretical and research efforts in the field of rhetoric and writing. But composition has recently come under attack from many within the field as fundamentally misguided. Some of these critics have been labelled "New Abolitionists" for their insistence that compulsory first-year writing should be abandoned. Not limiting itself to first-year writing courses, this book extends and modifies calls for abolition by taking a closer look at current theoretical and empirical understandings of what contributors call "general writing skills instruction" (GWSI): the curriculum which an overwhelming majority of writing instructors is paid to teach, that practically every composition textbook is written to support, and the instruction for which English departments are given resources to deliver.
The vulnerability of GWSI is hardly a secret among writing professionals and its intellectual fragility has been felt for years and manifested in several ways:
* in persistently low status of composition as a study both within and outside of English departments;
* in professional journal articles and conference presentations that are growing both in theoretical sophistication and irrelevance to the composition classroom; and
* in the rhetoric and writing field's ever-increasing attention to nontraditional sites of writing behavior.
But, to date, there has been relatively little concerted discussion within the writing field that focuses specifically on the fundamentally awkward relationship of writing theory and writing instruction.
This volume is the first to explicitly focus on the gap in the theory and practice that has emerged as a result of the field's growing professionalization. The essays anthologized offer critiques of GWSI in light of the discipline's growing understanding of the contexts for writing and their rhetorical nature. Writing from a wide range of cognitivist, critical-theoretical, historical, linguistic and philosophical perspectives, contributors call into serious question basic tenets of contemporary writing instruction and provide a forum for articulating a sort of zeitgeist that seems to permeate many writing conferences, but which has, until recently, not found a voice or a name.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
The Disciplinary Instability of Composition
Activity Theory and Its Implications for Writing
Writing as an Unnatural Act
The What Where When Why and How of Classroom
Creating Opportunities for Apprenticeship in Writing
Lived Experience and the Problem With Invention on
Other editions - View all
abolitionism abolitionist academic activity systems activity theory analytic Applebee argue argument assignments audience Carbondale Carnegie Mellon University CCCC cognition cognitivist College Composition College English complex Composition and Communication composition class composition courses composition studies conception constructed context critical culture curricular curriculum disciplinary discipline discourse Egendorf engage English departments English studies essay faculty first-year composition Freedman freshman composition freshman course Freshman English genres goals GWSI courses higher education ideas Illinois University Press institutions instructors intellectual interaction interdiscursivity invention Journal Kaufer Kitzhaber knowledge language learning to write literacy means object(ive participants pedagogical perspective Petraglia phenomenological position practice problem professional reader reading Resnick response rhetoric and composition rhetorical situations role Scribner situated cognition situated learning social Southern Illinois University specific students write subject matter suggests task teach students teachers textbooks thinking traditional understanding ventriloquate Whitehead's workplace writing instruction writing program written conversation