W5: Development and the Student Writer


Discussion of Haswell

Chapter 3 Spazmatics

  • Haswell claims, "That gives us then a new working definition for a conception of human growth appropriate to writing instruction: maturing is generative change, at once nurturable and natural, toward cultural standards" (p. 68). Take this statement apart: what do these terms mean, in this sentence: "maturing, generative, change, nurturable, natural, and cultural standard"?
    • Nurture, see "imitation" discussion (p. 92-101)
    • Nature, see "formative" discussion (p. 101-106)
  • Why does Haswell choose his "employee" sample? Does this choice make sense to you, as a teacher?
  • Haswell proposes a revision of writing standards based upon the evidence of his "employee" writers ("mature writing performance") (pp. 80-84). What do you think of these proposed standards?

Chapter 4 (Bus Drivers)

  • On page 95, Haswell lists the processes a student would have to go through in order to apply "model reading" to his/her own writing. Does this convince you? Are there other reasons to assign "model" readings?
  • Haswell dismisses both "imitative" and "formative" models of writing development. What are the reasons, in your own words?

Chapter 5 (Awesomest)

  • Haswell's "transformative tale of development" is defined on p. 131. It requires "alienation" or feelings of discomfort (see p. 132). It requires self-reflection, metacognition (p. 133), and appropriation (p.134). Can you think of a time when you experienced "transformative development" in your life, using these ideas?

Chapter 6: Tales of Style (English Folk)

  • Haswell alerts teachers to some differences in writing style between male and female students. The "Laelic" style (p. 178) is presented as a "dialect" that might be overridden by teachers or thesis advisors. What do you think about providing a variety of styles (p. 182) and asking students to discover their personal preferences?
  • Haswell promotes the "transformative" model of writing instruction, claiming that, "Nor does the transformative deny the usefulness of instructing students in the rhetorical game-rules of our culture in recommending that teachers also instruct students in the ways those conventions can be an enemy to the individual" (p.187). How does this serve both the group and the individual (nomothetic and ideographic)?

Chapter 7: Solecisms: Mistakes and Errors (Writers)

  • This chapter illustrates the difference between a "mistake" and an "error" (p. 195). Why is this distinction crucial to writing instruction? What does Haswell mean when he claims, "if teachers truly wish to help the student gain ground in writing, they will . . . deliberately flip the Necker cube of solecism from its correctness face to its learning face" (p. 205, see also, p. 192 for Necker cube).

Group Activity

  • Read Essay M, Essay E & Essay J. Can you see the changes that Haswell discusses? Look up any grammar/mechanics terms that he uses that you do not recognize.

Making Connections

  • Can we make connections between Haswell and Rose? Otte & Mlynarczyk? Carter? Lalicker?
  • What does the "field" look like? Build a visual representation.

Notes from group


Due Oct 4