Writing Groups: History, Theory, and Implications
Drawing on previously unpublished archival materials as well as historical accounts of American education and the self-help tradition of education in the United States, this book examines the origins, theoretical bases, and implications of writing groups. Following an introduction that points out the varied circumstances under which writing groups develop, the book looks into writing groups from three points of view. The first section deals with history, and contains chapters on writing groups inside academic institutions--such as college literary societies like Harvard's Spy Club and Hasty Pudding Club--and groups outside of academic institutions, which started out mainly as mutual improvement groups and are still prevalent. In the second section, which covers writing group theory, are chapters on collaborative learning (as opposed to the common image of writing in isolation) and theories of language development (mainly Marxist and structuralist). Implications of writing groups are the focus of the third section, which includes a chapter of suggestions for writing group formation and activities, and a chapter on theories of literacy that concentrates on its social aspects. Two extensive bibliographies are included: the first is an annotated list of primary sources which is organized by year, while the second is an alphabetical listing of works consulted. (SKC)
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