ERIC Number: ED269774
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Discipline, Discipline, and Discipline: The Hegemony of Writing in American Education.
Tolliver, Johnny E.
Writing is a threefold discipline that occupies a supreme place in American education, and without which there can be no other learning. Writing is not only a body of knowledge; it is also a set of acquired habits, and a frame of mind and attitude with which a writing task is approached. Writing may be defined in three ways, as (1) a discipline; that is, a domain of learning, with its own vocabulary or jargon, principles, facts, and accumulation of theory and research; (2) a skill; and (3) an art--the ability to make words and ideas eternal. The acquired habits include the grammatical usage, writing practices, and strategies that are manifested when pencil is put to paper. The attitudes and behaviors of professional teachers of writing are critical. Teachers are confused about what should be taught and how to teach it. In some instances teachers are encouraging free thinking and trying to activate some mechanism within their students to help them make writing, thinking, reading, listening, speaking, and studying a circle of activities. In others, teachers are imposing form, insisting on correctness while inhibiting free and creative and critical thinking. Teachers need to make uniform, on a national level, standards and objectives for writing programs for all levels in the educational system. Writing programs should also be accredited. Perhaps such actions will inject discipline into the profession. (HOD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (75th, Philadelphia, PA, November 22-27, 1985).