ERIC Number: ED186920
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Dr. Strangelove Attends the Iowa Institute on Writing, or How to Kill the 500 Word Theme and Learn to Love Composition.
The writing institute for college writing program directors described in this paper based a student-centered freshman composition course on the central premise that students can only learn to write by writing, since writing is an activity or process. The basic assumptions about the structure of writing classes on which the institute participants agreed are as follows: (1) Writing classes should be based on the principle of saturation writing, two or three papers per week for a term; (2) The audience for the writing should be the students' classmates and the teacher, acting not as judges but as interested readers; and (3) The assignments themselves should reveal a clear, coherent purpose. A detailed description of the course and teaching methods make up the major portion of the paper. Included are specific assignments and techniques such as sharing writing assignment excerpts with the whole class; encouraging students to discuss their own papers as if they hadn't seen them previously; initially ignoring spelling, punctuation, and usage errors; using small critique groups; and requiring students to keep journals of their communication encounters to use as a basis for a self-analysis paper. Experience using this composition approach with average college freshmen is described as positive. Extensive samples of student writing are included. (AEA)
Descriptors: College Freshmen, Course Descriptions, Educational Philosophy, Inservice Teacher Education, Institutes (Training Programs), Instructional Improvement, Peer Evaluation, Student Attitudes, Student Writing Models, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Effectiveness, Teaching Methods, Writing (Composition), Writing Exercises, Writing Instruction
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Northwest Regional Conference of the National Council of Teachers of English (Portland, OR, April 10-12, 1980).