ERIC Number: ED186915
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Teaching of Composition and Different Cognitive Styles.
Cooper, Grace C.
Noting that many students appear to lack the skills necessary for composing an academic paper, this paper contends that such students may possess a field dependent cognitive style (termed "holistic") that is at odds with the needs and expectations of the college world's field independent cognitive style. Pointing out that cognitive style permeates all aspects of behavior, including language, the paper then discusses three areas of language differences indicative of holistic students that are of interest to teachers of composition: hierarchical classification (holistic students do not perceive hierarchical differences and therefore have difficulty with the inductive and deductive patterns of argument often used for essay or term paper development), distance (holistic students do not separate themselves from others and therefore have problems with the standard objective point-of-view required in most formal papers), and transitional features (holistic thinkers tend not to use details and not to analyze and therefore are more likely than analytical thinkers to use transitional features). The discussion also provides suggestions for composition teachers to use in handling these differences. The paper concludes that small classes and individual attention from the instructor may be the most effective ways to work with such students. (FL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (31st, Washington, DC, March 13-15, 1980).