ERIC Number: ED364895
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Nov-19
Reference Count: N/A
Into Action: Reading Black and White Styles in the Composition Classroom.
Hindman, Jane E.
Two graduate students teaching a required first-year composition course at the University of Arizona designed a classroom environment in which they could explore with students the invisible rules governing black and white people's notions of what constitutes "appropriate" communication. In many ways, their efforts at this large, public university with a predominantly white, affluent student population were disappointing. Though most of the students left the course better writers, few would be able to map out the differences in black and white communicative styles or to explain how those differences result in communicative conflicts. For the most part, the instructors were not able to focus the course on the topic of style very often. Recommendations based on the instructors' experience with this course are: (1) use genres accessible to the student population; (2) adapt the instructional approach according to the roles the instructor can play and that the students can assume; (3) with students, develop vocabulary that delineates different aspects of issues of race; (4) reverse the fore- and background discussions of racism; (5) capitalize on "communicative trouble" as a means of exposing implicit rules governing appropriate communication; and (6) create writing assignments that require students to situate themselves and their reading/writing processes in a context. Based on students' responses to end-of-semester evaluations, the course helped make students aware of the contextually bound nature of "appropriate style" and of communication effectiveness. (A detailed description of the goals for the course is attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Communication Strategies; Communication Styles; University of Arizona; Writing Contexts
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (83rd, Pittsburgh, PA, November 17-22, 1993).