• Lad Tobin essay
    • considers the writing process pedagogy.
    • Willing to engage with students
    • Start with creative writing and end with critical writing (look at Peter Elbow & Murray)
    • Optimistic
    • Personal anecdotes on teaching
    • Pedagogy has changed, points out the good and bad between the changes, process pedagogy in high school emphasis is more on incorrect, error
    • Teachers are held accountable for students learning or not learning, whereas process pedagogy emphasizes on student’s own learning process


  • Intro- brief Composition-rhetoric history
  • Breaks down gender influences, oral based transformed into both written and oral for a period of time.
  • Male dominating in all facets of the culture during that time
  • Oppression of women’s education, expressing themselves in public and political forums
  • Agonistic- argumentative, built their education on competition, women versus men,
  • Student/teacher relationship changed after the women began to attend.
  • Colleges changed drastically after they became coed.


  • William Corvino: "Rhetorical Pedagogy"
    • "any form of writing is only correct with reference to the effect of its appeal and that effect can't be calculated determinately" pg 45
    • "Rhetorical pedagogoy...consists in both more deliberate attention to the history of rhetoric and the acknowledgement that 'rhetoric' names a complex set of factors that effect the production and interpretation of texts" pg 39
    • "rhetoric is a mode of altering reality" pg 47
  • Christopher Burnham: "Expressive Pedagogy"
    • "All pedagogy is ideological; any single approach supports an underlying set of values while questioning others" pg 19
    • "expressivist pedagogy employs freewriting, journal keeping, reflective writing and small group dialogic collaborative response to foster writer's aesthetic, cognitive and moral development" pg 19
    • "the purpose of education is to show a person how to define himself authentically and spontaneously in relation to the world--not to impose a pre-fabricated definition of the world...the function of the university is then first of all to help the student discover himself, to recognize himself and to identify who chooses." pg 20
    • "the context is social inactive; the writer is concerned with having an impact on an actual audience" pg 23
    • "through expressive discourse the self moves from private meaning to shared meaning that results ultimately in some action" pg 25


Chapter 4:

  • Rhetoric was seen as the mongrel/mutt/other...pg 178
  • "There were no departments of rhetoric because there were no PhDs? in rhetoric..."
  • German philosopthers condemn rhetoric...
  • "Rhetoric existed in universities between 1860 and 1900 as a curious relic of another time" pg 180

"English classes were taught, but rhetoric was rare, possibly due to the fact that rhetoric has more to do with speech, literature and language have more to do with praising the analysis of text/people/cultures, langauge is more of a science (linguistics)


Collaborative pedagogies:

  • "collaborative pedagogy has no necessary link to the teaching of composition; scholrs throuhgout the discipleins recognize collaboration as an aid to learning" pg 54
  • "individualistic teaching methods proved ineffective for the new population of non-traditional university students, for as collaborative pedagogies such as peer-turoring answered their needs" pg 54
  • "...the solitary author is heroic and deserved sole onwership of the words that he/she produces." pg 55
  • "John Clifford writes, 'academics have never existed as autonomous agents outside disciplinary or insitutional discourse.'" pg 55
  • "...collaboration with democracy and assume that if peer-work is taking place in the classroom, so is democracy and social change." pg 57
  • "When teachers are no longer dispensing knowledge in lectures but are guiding students in the collaborative process of discovering and constructing knowledge, students are empowered." pg 57
  • "...[it] aims to prepare students for workplace tasks. It should be designed not just on genereal precepts but also with a well developed conception of working place writing" pg 57
  • pg 59 "see page for quote..."
  • [blurb]: whether teachers are collaborating with students, or vice versa, or students collaborating with the text, its all about teaching students how to learn for themselves

Cultural Studies & Composition:

  • "cultural studies is the next thing..."
  • "...cultural studies is the latest import of theory into composition: a moment in the global circulation of intellectual commodities marked by the transmission of British cultural studies fromthe Brimingham Centre for contemporary cultural studies, CCCS, to replace the depleted exchange value of continental high theory in its various guises with the more worldly goods of Raymond Williams and Stuart Hall" pg 71 [connection to Connors Chapter 4, see above...]


Critical Pedagogy:

  • critical pedagogy tries to get students to think critically about their place in society, "creates a politicized citizen" pg 93
  • "To propose a pedagogy is to propose a political vision for ourselves, or communities..." pg 92
  • "students are receptacles waiting to be filled" pg 93 (critical pedagogy tries to go against this concept)
  • Michelle's POV: "critical pedagogy seems (not sure...) like it tries to deal with the conflicting inner forces inside the students...teachers should draw it out instead of pushing a particular identity on them (banking system)"
  • "the aim of critical pedagogy-to enable students to envision alternatives, to inspire them to assume the responsibility for collectively recreating society" pg 97

Feminist Pedagogy:

  • Feminist+rhetorical+cultural+critical are interrelated because the feminists had to persuade their audience that their pedagogy was just as good as a man's, bring in their variety of cultures and think critically to get their audience to listen
  • "...male students have much to gain from feminist pedagogy. We're all shaped by gendered process of our culture-messages telling us very powerfully how to talk, walk, play, work and love" pg 116
  • " feminist pedagogy needs both to talk about women as a group-women teachers, women students-but also notice differences within gendered categories, especically when it comes to student reading and writing practices" pg 117
  • "Gloria Anzaldua" pg 116
  • "Susan Stanford Friedman" pg 119
  • "a choice between adpoting masculine authority and thus reproducing the existing heirarchies of educational institutions vs. opting for a feminine facilitator role and in doing so, reproducing the patriarchal denial of the mind to women" pg 119


  • Hugh Blair, George Campbell
  • (Michelle's outline goes here)
  • not much room for creativity, early texts represented this
  • 17th century, rise of individualism...
  • 1st 1/2 of 18th century, rhetoric did not care for individual, however, individual became more important in society at the time
  • first writing assignments...1810 approximately
  • literature becoming increasingly narrative in 1700s, 19th century saw classical approach...
  • "the 19th century saw this classical approach i a relatively few years changing to a rhetorical praxis far more personal, private, intimate-in short, a praxis informed by romanticism rather than by classicism" pg 302

Read More/Explore

Michelle Hall Kells & Valerie Balester

Colorado State University; they used the placement exam to determine the academically underprepared students, under-represented ethnic and racial groups and CSU is predominantly white race.

Participants included 4 teachers, who were paid an extra $500 for their collaboration, 173 students-one declined to participate, average age 18-20, males 55%, females 45%, more collected information can be found on page 39.

Question 1 Findings

  • Interaction among T & S during class higher in CS classroom than T. T initiated roughly the same number of interactions with S in the two classroom settings.
  • No significant difference interaction immediately before and after class. Interaction outside the T classroom was significantly higher. Factors: T- student conference; CS- student sought answers before or after class. Reasons for not seeking out of class advice from T in a CS classroom is because T always gave feedback and answered the questions in the classroom.

Question 2 Findings

Interactions Among Marginalized Students and Teachers (pgs. 43-46)

  • Interaction during class- In T classrooms, T tend to interact frequently with students performing well in class, in CS classrooms T tend to interact with students who have lower grades. In T, students interact less frequently than all other students. “Students note that such individual attention allows them to get a better sense of what they do well and work from there, as well as providing opportunities to change habits that might hinder their success in school” (44). For example of student comments see page 44.
  • Interactions immediately before and after class in T, students with lower grades interact with T more than did the classmates who had higher grades. In CS classroom, overall level of interaction among students earning different grades was similar.
  • Interactions outside the classroom: T pattern shows it has to do with the grades; S with lower grades meet more often with T outside class than did their classmates earning higher grades. CS, the overall interaction was similar across grade levels.
  • “Findings suggest that struggling students in CS setting were more likely to seek help in their peers than were students in T classroom.

Question 3 Findings

E-mail and Interactions Among Students and Teachers (pgs 46-47)

  • Students in CS used e-mail more frequently to seek advice, express concerns, explain absences, ask questions; in T classroom only one student e-mailed teacher.

Question 4 Findings

E-mail Interactions Among Marginalized Students and Teachers (pgs 47-48)

  • S use of e-mail increased their opportunities for interaction with T
  • Pattern: e-mail exchanges in CS suggests that students who earned lower grades for the course tended to take greater advantage of e-mail than their peers who earned higher grades, which may mean it enhances communication between T & S who are less likely to succeed in writing classes.
  • Teachers experience with e-mail communication see pg 48

Implications (pgs 49-50).

“..it is not surprising that we can have difficulty communicating and opening up the lines of dialogue with students who may be working with a much different set of assumptions.” “teachers (can) become, literally, the embodiment of a powerful institutional culture. (Like) Foucault might call ‘speaking subject’ of academic discourse, a subject who speaks knowledge the academy values, is validated by its institutional structure, and attempts to control and mediate access to that discourse” (50)

Conclusion (pg 50)

Computer classrooms seems more positive: higher levels of S & T interactions, findings concerning e-mail another form of interacting indicate that it provides an additional means for S & T to interact with each other outside the classroom, and it may provide important opportunities for T to reach out to marginalized students.

Creating an Indentity...Dr. Cardenas:

  • Pedagogy: "to connect learning to my students' lives and help them to question what they read and hear and to understand how theur thinking is being shaped by institutions" pg 118
  • "I discussed the work of Elie Wiesel. Looking back, I recognize that my goals for the students are part of what Ira Shor refers to as critical literacy, an empowering education that 'invites students to become skilled workers and thinking citizens who are alsochange agents and social critics'" pg 118
  • "...my effort would be the ultimate statement that I owned the language, that I had used my citizenship to undertake a worthwhile cause-helping others reach academic literacy-and that I could go on to another level of thinking and writing that would enhance my teaching" pg 120
  • "my relfections about my high school and college experiences, my community college teaching, my political involvement and my doctoral work play a great part in how I approach writing and literacy at this state university" pg 121
  • "If assimilation means that a person loses part of him or herself in the process of becoming an American, I have not assimilated. I am a hybrid...my personal journey from disconnectedness to connection and belonging, one that began consciously with my essay in Mrs. Grant's history class, has brought me to this point and to this understanding" pg 124

Teaching Writing: The major Theories

Gere talks about the different theories of teaching composition from the early "scientific" approaches to expressivist approaches. Her basic argument is that the "issues" in composition studies is due to the fact that a connection between teaching rhetoric and a clearly defined philosophy of rhetoric is lacking in the development of current models for teaching. "When the teaching rhetoric and philosophy are united, the following questions will become central to each model: 1. What realtionship exists between language and reality? 2. What realtionship exists between though and language? 3. How does this model define "truth" or "Knowledge"? 4. What system of logic does this model employ to arrive at "truth"?

How much has Basic Writing Pedagogy changed since it was first researched??

Shaughnessy (1970s): understanding that literacy crisis of her day was in response to “decline literacy of the affluent” rather than the plight of the “traditionally illiterate” and that our failure to address the needs of the latter would “continue to cultivate advance literacy as a privilege rather than an entitlement” (184).

  • focused her “research and writing on the problem of Open Admission s from the students to teachers, administrators and society in general” (185).

David Bartholomae (dk year): doesn’t ignore the problem of error, but has “helped shift the emphasis of instruction from grammatical to rhetorical concerns—from surface error to semantic and critical content—transforming the traditional skills-error course into a theoretically driven seminar with challenging reading and writing assignments” (184).

  • “instruction “designed to develop perceptual skills in transcribing and editing area of paramount importance to basic writers” (187).

Isabella Halted (1973): focus of a writing course should be communicated and that teachers should foster dialogue, functioning as “interested, skeptical and close readers who want to know what our students have to say: (185).

Nancy Sommers (1980): “students’ strategies for revision were limited to lexical rather than conceptual or semantic changes, and that they lacked ‘procedures or heuristics’ to imagine an audience or question their own purposes” (188).

Andrea Lunsford (late 1970s): insists that a curriculum should integrate the use of language skills and challenge the reader (189).

Patricia Bizzell (1980s): to be successful in college, students need to “choose academic culture and its more socially powerful discourse over their own cultural beliefs despite having ‘more to lose in modifying their earlier world views’” (189).

National Basic Writing Conference (1992): tension between a more traditional view of writing instruction as an avenue to academic and professional success and poststructural theories of social reproduction continues to shape the debate on basic writing” (195).

Recent Model Trends:

  • Writing Studios- a small group of students and an experienced teacher-meets once a week to work in the students’ composition assignments (197).
  • Enrichment Approach- all students place into freshmen composition, bypassing test scores; the goal is to ‘encourage students to use the familiar language of the academy to describe and analyze familiar aspects of everyday language use and cultural experience’” (197).
  • Yogurt Model- “builds on crucial pedagogical consensus…that instruction in composition does not depend on everyone having the same knowledge or skill and that the same instruction should go on in basic classrooms as goes on in regular ones” (198).

What is the definition of a basic writer?

Mutnik's essay describes how scholars have viewed Basic Writers from the 70s (Saughnessy) to more present day perceptions. What I got from it is that a Basic Writer lacks one or a combination of any of the following writing skills:

  • Grammar (stemming from language barriers)
  • Critical Thinking
  • Cultural/Political understanding/awareness of self in and out of the academy

Many of the scholars believed that Basic Writers can be defined by one of these (among others), but, personally, I think it has a lot to do with the region in which they are teaching as well as the background of the student. For that reason, they may have a combination of 'inadequate' writing skills. There are 1st generation college students who may lack an understanding of Grammatical 'rules' in sentence formation and such because they haven't had the kind of help or support that others may have (though this isn't always the case); just as well, they may struggle between 2 selves--the new 'invented' academic self and the self within the context of family (this differs between cultures). They struggle to maintain that self and often opt to 'throw one out.' I think that struggle within itself forces them to think critically--many students may not understand particular 'directions of thinking,' but are able to think critically, I think, about anything if they are sufficiently informed on the subject matter. Personally, I like the idea of the studio model; I think it would help students to see themselves as an academic if they weren't placed on the 'outside' as a Basic Writer which may better help them balance the 2 selves that many of them have trouble defining/maintaining...


This is something we often discuss in Basic Writing. The article mainly focuses on the work of Mina Shaughnessy (which i have not read much of) and how basic writing courses developed. One comment that stuck out in my mind was from Coles and Wall, who "observe that basic writers are 'people who live between two worlds'" (192). I thought this was an interesting way to define (if that qualifies as a definition) basic writers. They attend college, but can't take freshman English until they complete their basic writing courses. Also, they are college students attending an institution of higher learning, yet they are still labeled as basic writers. I'm not quite sure if these are the two worlds mentioned, just my interpretation.

I also liked the section about the recent trends, such as studios, mainstreaming and the "yogurt" model. I really like the idea of the studio model because its smaller and more personal. I thought the idea of the yogurt model was interesting because it uses the studio method and allows students to work as long as they want to produce passing portfolios. However, I'm not sure if giving the students a lengthy amount of time to finish an assignment for three credits is the best way to go about things.

Style, Student Writing, and the Handbooks by Nate Kreuter

  • brings up various texts/manuals for style, talks about how they tend to, "marginalize style in their calls for clarity" (pg 6)
  • arguing for new style of teaching style which would call for us to pay more attention to, "grammatical, syntactical and conceptual problems that occur when student writers attempt sophisticated prose styles" (pg 1)
  • we concur that style is simply simple, yet it is simply misunderstood.

Technology and the Teaching of Writing by Charles Moran

  • nota bene: Moran fails to answer the questions he presents himself, he merely references various texts and authors that provide answers.
  • He gives scenario, provides a question after, then has a quote but never answers the question himself. He then moves on to the next topic
  • "...email as a meduim eokes intimacy, up to and including virtual, online sex" (210) question: "how do we maintain appropriate authority online?" provides source after, Michelle then had a question...that she will provide later...
  • online classes: how do you ensure that constructive feedback would be offered? (Michelle's question)
  • Personally, I (Dre) feel that email regulations are somewhat individual because some may prefer it, while others may not. See my wiki post for detials...