Tosh Tachino wrote:
>Let me add me 2 cents (USD) on points of agreement and disagreement:
>- Writing is important in most professions.
>- The digital life demans "more" writing.
>- Writing is teachable/learnable.
>- Greater TA training and support are needed.
>- Writing is not "one thing" as it is imagined in the article.
>- Writing is not a decontextualized "skill" as it is conceptualized in the article.
>- The following phrase from the article is problematic because it (incidentally)
>alludes to two approaches to writing that are currently out of favor:
>"explaining how language works as a system, how it works psychologically" This
>phrase suggests 1) Structuralism/formalism and 2) Psychological models (e.g.
>Flower & Hayes).
>- I don't think the writer understands "writing across (throughout) the curriculum."
>- The article misrepresents the history of the writing instruction. The
>first-year composition was never successful when it was first established in 1872.
>- The "empirical evidence" is unclear.
>- Explicit knowledge of grammar does not (easily) translate into effective writing.
>I'll add this on Roger's wiki as well.
>Tosh Tachino, M.A., B.A. Honors
>Ph.D. Candidate, Iowa State University
>Rhetoric and Professional Communication
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Just to get in my 4 cents (inflation), while I agree that the good Dean
oversimplifies the case, I really think he is inviting a discussion
about how to forefront good writing within the university curriculum.
The fact that he is willing to publish this process-oriented,
collaborative piece, shows that he wishes to promote this type of
writing within/ across the curriculum. That's not a bad thing, is it?
Sure his arguments are simplistic, and ignore all the good research that
has been done on how best to teach good writing practices. But I don't
think there is a political maevin alive who wouldn't agree that the best
way to get as many people on side as possible is to state an issue in
simple terms. Find something that everyone can agree on, and you can
begin to build an accord on appropriate measures to take that will, in
the end, address the complexities of the problem. I think we need to
figure out who our friends are and pick our fights accordingly. That's
not to say that we shouldn't respond to him. I think his piece invites
a full, thoughtful, collective response ----- and it's about time the
experts in the field supplied that response. Therefore, kudos to Susan,
Roger, Tosh, et al for beginning that process! Theresa.
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