Readings for this week presents a continuum discussion: history of basic writing as a field. O&M starts its conversation by making us remember the attempts to abolish developmental or remedial courses from four year colleges. We know the problems basic writing scholars, instructors went through: budget cuts, negative critiques against basic writing as a field etc. O&M says that today basic writing goes through similar kinds of problems. Four year colleges eliminate remedial courses from their campuses because of their attempt to increase their students’ success, since they believe that remedial courses, students attending these sources are the reasons affecting the success of universities in a bad way. The first attempt to remove these students from their campuses is to move these courses into out of campus institutions. Following this, another attempt is also to close these institutions helping students to go back to university campuses, since they think that most of the students entered these pre-university institutions are not able to finish their program, and it cause money loss. What O&M does in their work is to remind us the fact that in the past, basic writing scholars found a way to overcome the obstacles they faced, and today we need to do the same thing. They take our attention to success stories of students who attended these pre-university institutions and got a bachelor degree. This discussion presented in a more focused approach in Kassner and Harringtons’ chapter 5 from Basic Writing as a political act.
Chapter 5 presents a two faced discussion: news in The New York Times and the Minneapolis Star Tribune. These two sources present a two different discussion about two different universities: CUNY and GC connected to Minneapolis University. The news about CUNY represents a negative discussion about basic writing and basic writers. However, the news about GC presents the success stories of these students. Kassner and Harrington focus on these success stories as a solution to find a way to deal with the treat of removing remedial courses.
In Chapter 6, Kassner and Harrington take our attention to the idea that writing as a political act. The say that teachers should find ways works best for students. Basically, they should first think students. They also present a discussion about syllabi. Their evaluation on different syllabi is really important, since it presents a broader concept about how teachers see basic writing and basic writers. This discussion helps them to present the idea that basic writing is a political act. Teachers should promote more subjective literacy to students. They should consider their needs, interest, what works best for them. This approach will bring success to these students.