Composition Theory A down and dirty to writing instruction and theory over the years…Part II
<ul><li>Writing comes from within </li></ul><ul><li>“ Express the experience of the self” (Berlin, 1998, p. 485) </li></ul><ul><li>A writer just holes him/herself up in that special place and writes! </li></ul>Expressionist Rhetoric
Expressionist Rhetoric <ul><li>Expressionist rhetoric claimed that writing comes from within, and its purpose is to “express the experience of the self” (Berlin, 1988, p. 485). </li></ul><ul><li>What we take away from this theory of composition: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Forced us to reconstruct the role of teacher within the student’s writing process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduced the concepts: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>of writing without teachers/teachers as facilitators </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>writing to learn (Donald Murray) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Things to question: writing doesn’t happen in isolation (Urbanski Chpt. 2) </li></ul>
Social Epistemic Rhetoric <ul><li>“ In the 1980’s, composition scholars focused on the social nature of writing...and how the cognitive processes of writers...are conditioned by social circumstances” (Reynolds et. al., 2004, p. 10). </li></ul><ul><li>James Thomas Zebroski’s (1994) Vygotskian Perspectives on the Teaching of Writing deems that “Composing can be seen as the intersection of context, text, self, and society” (p. 5). </li></ul><ul><li>What does this theory mean? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A concept, such as writing, is developed/learned through many social factors, recursively working to help the writer make sense of the writing she is doing. </li></ul></ul>
Concept development is socially constructed, from the outside in, moving recursively back and forth from the social to the individual (Vygotsky, 1986).
Social Epistemic Rhetoric cont’d <ul><li>opened the doors for new discussion about language and writing practices of students and teachers. Understanding the delicate balance and possible connections between students’ own cultural and home language practices and the language practices of school (Shirley Brice Heath, Ways with Words; Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed ) </li></ul>
What now? <ul><li>Some ongoing thoughts (note the date of this research excerpt): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“The modern perspective [of composition theory] shows that writers learn how to write by continually engaging in the activity and by steadily applying the habits of mind that allow for intellectual penetration of a subject” (Brannon, 1983). </li></ul></ul>
What now? <ul><li>Some really current thoughts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Excerpt from recent article (published in fall 2009) English Education journal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Push to focus on writers writing (the act, the verb) rather than writer’s writing (the result, the product) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ W r iting is therefore [along with other language practices] not only an expression of self as a being in the world but also an act of meaning-making …” (Yagelski 14). </li></ul></ul></ul>
What do you think? <ul><li>Have we discovered what good writing is? Is there such a thing as “good writing”? </li></ul><ul><li>My research illustrates “how a definitive understanding of ‘ go od writing ’ can never exist because writing is always rhetorical, shifting based on the context it is situated in at the time of creation” (Woodward, 2007). </li></ul><ul><li>Now, after viewing Part II of this presentation, post some thoughts and questions on the following Ning discussion thread: http://thinkwrite.ning.com/group/teachingofwriting/forum/topics/discussion-of-history-of </li></ul>
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