ERIC Number: ED312025
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Apr-29
Reference Count: N/A
Teaching Basic Writing to College Adults.
Erickson, Michael E.
Pedagogical approaches, which treat students as empty vessels into which knowledge is deposited, are inappropriate for teaching adults. Teachers of basic college composition courses should recognize the linguistic competence already possessed by adult students when teaching them about the processes involved in writing and helping them develop composing schema. Teaching adults the intricacies of composition requires new perspectives and suitable attitudes grounded in formulated principles and methodologies. The writings of Malcolm Knowles on andragogy, the works of Lev Vygotsky on thought and language development, and the ideas of Mikhail Bakhtin on literature and creative discourse supply valuable perspectives for adult educators. One useful method for teaching composition to adults is the externally guided interactive approach, which helps students "see" writing processes in action as the instructor externalizes the entire process from invention to ultimate draft. Adult students can also benefit from collaborative writing. The use of a personal computer and display panel permits an entire class to compose, write, and revise compositions as a group, with the instructor guiding the class through each step of the composing process. With the composition projected for all class members to see, the student-writers pursue thought/language cul-de-sacs and nonsequiturs, ungrammatical sentence structures, and other problems that even experienced writers encounter. Once the processes of writing are internalized, the instructor can introduce more sophisticated rhetorical styles and techniques. (JMC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Presented under the title "Collaborative Writing: An Externally Guided Andragogical Approach" at the Annual Conference of the State University of New York Council on Writing (4th, Plattsburg, NY, April 29, 1989).