ERIC Number: ED169532
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Nov
Reference Count: 0
20th Century Perspectives on Teaching Written Composition in the Elementary School: A Review of Authoritative Opinion.
Haley-James, Shirley M.
A committee of the National Council of Teachers of English collected data on the elementary composition teaching perspectives observed in literature between 1900 and 1950. The committee's report on two categories of their collected data--position statements and state-of-the art reviews--shows that English teachers have trended from emphasizing formalized writing and formal grammar to emphasizing the social needs that written expression fulfills ("maximum essentials") and the applications of grammar principles ("minimum essentials" such as spelling and punctuation). Although teaching theory has been cyclical overall, shifting in degrees of attention to formal writing, grammar, mechanics, and social context, the social needs composition curriculum approach has steadily gained strength throughout the fifty years. This approach couples preparatory oral language experience (also called "prewriting" or "prevision") with an attempt to adapt written work to the needs of a particular audience. Sterling Leonard was one of the early proponents of prewriting and social context, and current theory reflects his work. As a result of this literature review, one committee member notes the time lag between the publication of position statements and the appearance of associated teaching materials; evidently English teachers need to increase their communication with one another to put theory and research into practice quickly. (RL)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (68th, Kansas City, Missouri, November 23-25, 1978); Best Available copy