ERIC Number: ED333458
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Reviving the Rodential Model for Composition: Robert Zoellner's Alternative to Flower and Hayes.
The time has come to re-evaluate the metaphors used when people think about composition. Such a re-evaluation is under way and may affect composition theory, research models, and classroom practice well into the future. Robert Zoellner rejected the prevailing metaphor for teaching writing which equates the act of thinking with the act of writing. Instead, he proposed a metaphor that treats writing as a form of behavior, and developed a pedagogy based on this theoretical model, finding the "rodential" model of the behavioral psychologists consonant with his assumptions. Linda Flower and John Hayes, on the other hand, based their model on cognitive psychology and artificial intelligence research. The cognitive model classifies writing as a type of problem-solving thinking, and so Flower and Hayes equate writing with thinking. There are a number of reasons for rejecting their metaphor: (1) it is not useful in conducting research, as it defies observation; (2) the think-write metaphor often produces circular reasoning; and (3) treating writing as a type of thinking encourages a simplistic view of signification. The propensity to borrow theories from other disciplines has turned composition studies into a theoretical crazy quilt. For composition studies to become established as a discipline, teachers and researchers must pay more attention to basic theoretical questions, questions about the nature of writing, language, and signification. The first step towards answering these questions lies in rejecting the assumption that writing is thinking, and turning to writing as signifying act. (PRA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Behavioral Psychology; Cognitive Process Theory of Writing; Composition Theory; Talk Write Method; Writing Thinking Relationship; Zoellner (Robert)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (42nd, Boston, MA, March 21-23, 1991).