ERIC Number: ED382972
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Mar-23
Reference Count: N/A
Personal Voice in Stories of Teaching.
Seitz, James E.
A story told about soliciting comments and criticisms from students during a class one day reveals a number of disturbing techniques used in academic story-telling. Such story telling, which has become increasingly common in academic teaching/writing journals of late, creates the deceptive impression of sincerity and intimacy. In this case, the instructor himself discovers calculated maneuvers in his own story telling, which underscores how inherent they are to the genre. For example, the narrator in this story, by adopting an easy-going tone admitting to fallible traits like planning classes at the last moment, immediately establishes a rhetoric of disclosure, an ethos of sincerity that hopes to have the effect of relaxing the reader's guard. It should be noted further that the narrative contains no quotations; all student responses are filtered through the narrator. This limited perspective can only be acceptable if a person is naive enough to trust the narrator entirely--a strategy that all students have been taught since high school to relinquish. Also, the narrative bunches students into two groups--those who resist the teacher and those who do not. Finally, the narrative exhibits a profound lack of narrative detail. Stories of the classroom couched in a "personal voice" may be accessible, but to the voice more than to the classroom. (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Voice (Rhetoric)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (46th, Washington, DC, March 23-25, 1995).