ERIC Number: ED243120
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Freedom through Language: Applications of the Ideas of Carl Rogers to the Teaching of Composition.
Meyers, G. Douglas
Composition teachers can learn much from the tradition of psychologist and researcher Carl R. Rogers. Placing the direction of the therapeutic process in the hands of the client, Rogers's work focuses on "potentiality," the idea that humans are primed with a potential for self-realization and are endowed with an actualizing tendency to grow and create. Rogers argues that in any interpersonal relationship, individuals have within themselves the capacity to understand and to reorganize, and it is up to a facilitator to create a climate distinguished by acceptance, understanding, and empathy. In adopting these Rogerian ideas, writing teachers must strive to help students develop initiative and responsibility for their own writing and to have them emerge from the classroom with increasing autonomy and distinctness. Writing teachers must both believe that students are fundamentally capable of managing their own lives as writers and help each individual in the class to clarify his or her own purposes. As resource persons, teachers need to introduce students to the possibilities available to them as writers: heuristic strategies, methods of revising, stylistic options, and suggestive models. They can replace the lecture method with workshop methods. Their written comments on student papers should reflect an attitude of acceptance and interpretation rather than one of judgment. Above all, pedagogy incorporating Rogerian principles aims to help people become more autonomous, more spontaneous, and more confident users of language. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Rogers (Carl)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (35th, New York City, NY, March 29-31, 1984).