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ERIC Number: ED176264
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-May
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Theory in the Classroom: Teaching Heuristics as Cognitive Goals.
Smith, Douglas Bradley
A review of rhetorical techniques and behavioral and cognitive goals in the composition classroom leads to the conclusion that the center of rhetoric is invention. An analysis of heuristics in contemporary rhetoric demonstrates several benefits to the rhetor: first, a heuristic provides a structure on which to hand a vision of the range of solution historically or logically associated with the problem being addressed; second, it allows its user to select narrower categories of the vision it suggests; third, it allows the writer to attend selectively to the categories, assessing separately the relevance of the associations each category evokes to the anticipated unknown content; fourth, it allows the writer to segment the problem, selecting which aspect to pursue further, or which to pursue now and which later. A metaphor or analogy in an essay is a heuristic which functions as a generator; a heading or subheading in a technical report functions as a selector. Although heuristics lend themselves to being taught badly, teachers should present them as abbreviated conceptual frameworks rather than as sets of magical operations; as means, not ends; as cognitive, not behavioral. A heuristic as a set of procedures gives practice in the application of a well-founded scheme of perception to a particular rhetorical situation. (AEA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Heuristics
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Council of Teachers of English (12th, Ottawa, Canada, May 8-11, 1979)