ERIC Number: ED347556
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Research on Writing Instruction: Confronting Ambivalence in the System.
Martin, Judy L.
Despite the paradigm shift from product to process-centered writing theory, the reality is that students still are offered few options and teachers continue to expect set forms of writing. What continues to count is the end product, usually an academic essay demonstrating all the virtues of mainstream literacy. To explore this charge, a survey was undertaken at Southern Illinois University's English department which revealed that these attitudes and values continue to be expressed by instructors. In grading, the final, typed product was by far the most important activity. Not surprisingly, the survey indicated that the educational system itself also values product over process. Sample responses from instructors concerning this show that this is a controversial issue among faculty. Thus, there has evolved a sort of "schizoid" pedagogy in which theory and practice do not match. Teachers, therefore, must try to balance process and product more favorably. For example, many theorists believe that the current definition of literacy is too restrictive. Such restrictions have implications which society should take a close look at. One objection to open forms which give students more room to explore is that they would result in sloppy writing, but this is not necessarily so. Neither do researchers generally favor getting rid of the academic essay completely. Instructors should consider how to make the process "count" gradewise, and try to recognize variant forms within student writing. (Nineteen references are attached.) (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Composition Theory; Process Product Research; Southern Illinois University; Teacher Surveys
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (43rd, Cincinnati, OH, March 19-21, 1992).