ERIC Number: ED333464
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Professionalism of Rhetoric/Composition: Consequences and Commitment.
The professionalization of composition studies in relation to other disciplines has created a drive for standardization (in response to the need to be distinctive from other fields), which has as a negative consequence the devaluing of practitioner knowledge. Further, the process of projecting value on the discipline involves the "scientification" of the field, promoting the distinction between theoretical and practical knowledge. Thus composition specialists may be distancing themselves from pedagogy. Three specific trends are notable as professionalization continues. Firstly, more upper-level courses and graduate programs in composition studies will be established to provide work for the increasing number of Ph.D. specialists. This process will remove the persons with the most training in rhetoric/composition from undergraduate writing classes. Secondly, the increasing pressure to do research and to vie with one another for professional survival and/or advancement will force greater numbers of composition specialists to demand reduced teaching loads, which will in turn create pressure to increase class size in undergraduate courses, and/or to hire additional underpaid part-time instructors. Thirdly, the increasing fragmentation of composition studies and the resulting hierarchy of subspecialties will ensure that the needs of some student populations will continue to be addressed, while the needs of others will be ignored. One tentative step that the composition professionals might take towards making the profession responsive to more of its members and to more of the students is to examine the enterprise a bit more carefully. (PRA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Composition Studies; Educational Issues; Professional Concerns
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (42nd, Boston, MA, March 21-23, 1991).