ERIC Number: ED278045
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Teaching Freshman Composition: The Language of Oppression vs. the Language of Liberation.
Hood, Michael D.
There are two types of literacy: mechanical literacy and critical literacy. Those who teach mechanical literacy use language to oppress, while those who teach critical literacy use language to liberate. The mechanical view of literacy oppresses because it encourages passivity and acceptance of authority, places a disproportionate emphasis on correctness at the expense of critical thinking, and restricts interpretation and sequential thought by requiring students to pattern compositions on preestablished rhetorical forms. In contrast, the critical view of literacy has the potential to liberate because it encourages students to become active learners through participation in the dialectical process, places primary emphasis on critical thinking, and promotes interpretation and sequential thought by teaching students the necessity of giving good reasons to create new knowledge and to develop critical perspectives. Composition instructors can use language to contribute to the intellectual liberation of their students by requiring them to read essays that deal with significant ideas and by encouraging them to make connections between those ideas through discussion, writing, and further reading. (Author/SRT)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (37th, New Orleans, LA, March 13-15, 1986).