Sunday, September 11, 2016

A couple of links about expressivism

Might need these next spring when I have to spring to the defense of how I'm running this semester's first-year writing classes:

The other possibility is that Murray doesn’t get read anymore because what he advocates, particularly in terms of who generates knowledge in the writing classroom, remains too radical for rhetoric and composition. With so many first-year composition programs still focused on “academic writing” and the teaching of argument, often through themed courses or standardized syllabi in which students have limited choice about what they write, there is little sense of classrooms that are truly “student-centered.” More than a few composition teachers talk in the hallways about the need for student-centered classrooms, but run courses in which there is no doubt that authority and expertise remain with the instructor. Frankly, I have been and can be as guilty of this inconsistency as anyone. I like being in charge and I often push students toward writing about subjects that I think will be more beneficial to them. Of course Murray isn’t saying that teachers shouldn’t know what they are doing; just that students have knowledge and expertise too that we need to bring into the classroom.
  • James Zebroski. 1999. “The Expressivist Menace.” History, Reflection, and Narrative: The Professionalization of Composition, 1963-1983. Ed. Mary Rosner, Beth Boehm, and Debra Journet. Stamford, CT: Ablex. 99-114.

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