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ERIC Number: ED227482
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Status of the Writing Crisis: A Retrospective and Prospective Report on the 1980 Symposium on Literacy at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions.
Blau, Sheridan
The presentations and discussion at the 1980 Symposium on the Writing Crisis held in Santa Barbara, California, yielded two different but complementary perspectives on the problems of writing and writing instruction--a political perspective and a professional one. From a political standpoint there was general agreememt that the notion of a "writing crisis" had meaning mainly in the political arena and then mostly as a slogan and popular myth. Nearly all agreed that the writing crisis parents and school boards seem to be worrying about is largely an invention of the media. Most expressed the suspicion that communities were getting what they wanted in the literacy of most of their students--a form of literacy that gives more attention to the appearance of correctness in an utterance than to its quality as thought. From a professional perspective, the panelists were unanimous in their view that composition claims a privileged place in any curriculum for the unique contributions it makes to the intellectual growth of the student. They also agreed that, unfortunately, instruction in composition in real classes often trivializes the discipline, reducing it to drill work or perfunctory theme writing on topics calling for canned answers in correct forms. The most important reason teachers need to learn about recent scholarly advances in composition is to combat their powerlessness by making the knowledge they already possess more authoritative. The best hope for improvement lies in staff development programs modeled after the Bay Area Writing Project, which are committed to the principles that serve to correct the major defects of current approaches to inservice education and to the teaching of writing. (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A