ERIC Number: ED364885
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Another Kind of Vote: Enfranchising the Knowledge(s) of Teachers.
Those in composition studies know, experientially, that teaching informs their lives and results in knowledge, but they also know that English Studies culture(s) continue to valorize expert knowledge over community knowledge, empirical and scholarly research over alternate methods of constructing inquiry, and theory over practice. Although cognitive models and insights can illuminate the steps students and teachers go through in writing, only a well-trained teacher has a hope of navigating the interrelated cognitive and affective terrain of the classroom. Many composition teachers teach from an unexamined passion for writing and writers and because they love the profession, though they may well abhor their professional conditions. A composition teacher realized that her poems, and more recently her literacy autobiographies (self-assigned in teacher-education classes she teaches) offer her valuable new modes of understanding herself and her professional life. One poem in particular, written to explore the contradictions one of her African-American students was experiencing, became the seed of subsequent professional work. Practitioners in the underclass of composition are agitating for enfranchisement through professional conferences and caucuses. Other "movements" are destabilizing the status quo: portfolio evaluation, writing across the disciplines, calls for abolition of the universal first-year requirement, and teacher research. Composition teachers have to vote with their experience and their reflection on that experience, and they will find it a powerful force at the institutional polls. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: English Teachers; Professional Concerns
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Modern Language Association (Toronto, Canada, December 27-30, 1993).