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ERIC Number: ED238006
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Experimental Research in Written Composition: A Critical View.
Roberts, David Harrill
Of great concern among researchers is the effectiveness of holistic scoring, which is necessarily product-centered and decontextualized, in measuring writing quality, the mental processes necessary for writing, or teaching skill. The Committee on Teaching and Its Evaluation in Composition of the Conference on College Composition and Communication has made suggestions for shifting the focus of evaluation from the product to the process. Furthermore, it stresses the need and makes suggestions for viewing language teaching from a constructivist stance rather than from a reductionist position. The writing quality evaluations of much of the research in written composition, clearly more reductionist than constructivist, fail to take into account the purpose of the writer, the writer's audience, or the sociopolitical context of the writing act. Future research in writing should utilize the six evaluation instruments suggested by the committee that take into account the goals of both course and teacher, the background and preparation of students, and many other factors critical to the learning experience. Research in written composition should also consider language change over periods longer than a single academic term. Unfortunately, researchers today are caught between the expediency of experimental research and the completeness of naturalistic inquiry. One demands empirical inquiry based on the tenets of logical positivism, and the other requires a costly commitment to naturalistic inquiry based on the belief in a multiple reality. (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A