ERIC Number: ED219791
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
The Failure of College and University English Departments.
Dumont, Raymond A.
University English departments are failing because of unclear goals concerning writing programs, an entrenchment of literature in the departments, and the hiring of untrained writing teachers. Many writing positions are nontenure track, require instructors to teach four sections of freshman composition, or require a Ph.D. in some aspect of literature with a commitment to teach composition on the side. Teachers whose field is literature are prone to use literary models for writing, which is pedagogically sound, but often the course turns into an analysis of the model and away from the process of writing. This emphasis on product also leads teachers to ignore invention and writing as an act of discovering what one wants to say. Nonspecialists also tend to ignore the purpose of the discourse and the intended audience and to reward writing that is abstract and opaque, while at the same time focusing on mechanics at the expense of organization and coherence. Until English departments do begin to seek a balance between writing and literature at the undergraduate level, and until they begin hiring writing specialists, they will remain vulnerable to criticism. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (33rd, San Francisco, CA, March 18-20, 1982).