ERIC Number: ED172249
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Classroom as Drillfield: Can the Basics Build Writers?
Root, Robert L., Jr.
The ruling model of the college teacher of composition has been the "composition instructor," who like the military drill instructor is unflinching, authoritarian, and dedicated to turning students into disciplined writers of standard English by means of drills and criticism. The military pose is inherent in the call for a return to basics, because the basics are perceived as best fostered by a hard-nosed prescriptivism. This approach is grounded in erroneous ideas of how students learn and of the effectiveness of this manner of instruction. Under the assumption that the student's mind is a blank tablet, the method ignores research showing that the ability to learn develops over a period of time and that it is important not to seek certain goals until the student is prepared to achieve them. A more appropriate model for the composition teacher is that of the "master craftsman," who is wise, authoritative, and who shares skills with the student-apprentices who teach themselves by doing. (DF)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Back to Basics
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (30th, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 5-7, 1979)