ERIC Number: ED244259
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Mar
Process, Product, and the Administration of the English Department.
Penfield, Elizabeth F.
Although writing today generally is perceived as process, college English departments are still deeply rooted in the concept of writing as product. Hiring depends upon product in terms of letters of inquiry, vitae, and credentials; retention, promotion, and merit raises rest on product in the form of publications, grants, awards, and teacher evaluations. Against such a background, it is no surprise that process has had an uphill fight in the administration of English departments. In upper level courses or institutions where departments are small enough that quantitative measures are not necessary or where admissions standards or section sizes or teaching loads make highly individualized classes possible, writing as process has been readily accepted. Far more problematic are the larger institutions, where admissions standards are minimal if they exist at all, and where the number of sections and the staff to teach them are so large that they demand specialized administration to ensure relative uniformity. Departments are confronted with the dilemma of teaching writing versus testing it; teaching the process, but needing to ensure the product. However, textbooks are slowly incorporating the process of writing, graduate schools are emphasizing it in their courses, and freshmen programs are being staffed by more informed teachers who in turn influence the programs themselves. (HOD)
Descriptors: Administrative Policy, Administrative Problems, Conventional Instruction, Educational Change, Educational Innovation, Educational Trends, English Departments, English Teacher Education, Higher Education, Learning Theories, Teacher Attitudes, Textbooks, Writing Instruction, Writing Processes
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 (35th, New York City, NY, March 29-31, 1984).