ERIC Number: ED331084
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
The Diversity Within: From Finding One's Voice to Orchestrating One's Voices.
Lev Vygotsky and others have shown that "that which is within" is partly the product of socialization--a welter of competing claims, roles and voices. Teachers should aim, however, to achieve negotiation rather than suppression, transformation, or accommodation among these competing elements. With this in mind, 20 minority students at Baruch College in New York (where minority students are actually in the majority), were each asked to write a paper focusing on a personal issue, but "thinking through" the issue rather than resolving it. Reading the students' papers suggested that they ought to be encouraged to orchestrate their voices rather than to find a personal voice. Furthermore, instructors should focus on discovery rather than control, and problem definition rather than problem-solving. When teachers talk about what they want to see in their students' papers (and by extension in their students' lives), they should emphasize diversity rather than unity; interrelation rather than assimilation; and exploration rather than resolution. Teachers should be less concerned with what they want to hear and more concerned with what students might want to say. By teaching less and learning more, they could gain cultural understanding from their students. (Examples from student papers are included.) (PRA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: City University of New York Bernard Baruch College; Expressive Writing; Voice (Rhetoric); Vygotsky (Lev S)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (42nd, Boston, MA, March 21-23, 1991).