ERIC Number: ED222918
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Reading Student Writing.
The shift in paradigm from product to process should force a new look at the ways in which the teacher reads student writing. From the perspective of reader-response criticism, it should be no surprise that teachers would differ in their response to, and therefore assessment of, student writing. Examining two graded student essays, one from a sixth grade student and one from a college student, reveals that teachers do not read; they edit from the perspective that the text is autonomous and free standing, the real world manifestation of an independent ideal form. The contextless, unnatural writing that is promoted in the academic world may be the source of bad writing outside of it. Reader-response criticism may help solve this problem. Writing, like living, is both free and constrained. At present, teachers tend to cancel or ignore their "real" response to a piece of writing and replace it with a "professional" response. The connections between critical practice and the ways teachers read should be examined. Then, perhaps, teachers can be freed from the requirement of "normalized" responses. Student writers write for someone--the teacher--so teachers should allow themselves to become readers, valuing subjectivity and trusting and expressing their first and best response to the student's text. (JL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Reader Response; Theory Practice Relationship
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (72nd, Washington, DC, November 19-24, 1982).