ERIC Number: ED352331
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988
Disciplinary "Secrets" and the Apprentice Writer: The Lessons for Critical Thinking. Resource Publication, Series 1 No. 6.
Colomb, Gregory G.
Both writing and critical thinking are based in context; students write and think best about subjects in which they are knowledgeable. Neither can therefore be regarded as a generic basic skill. Linear conceptions of learning which permeate both informal and formal views of education, writing, and critical thinking set students up for failure. Standards of correctness in writing vary genre to genre, discipline to discipline. Knowledge, writing, and thinking are socially constructed; in the academic situation they are socially constructed by disciplines. A good writing program reflects the different kinds of writing that students do in the disciplines. Teaching writing in the disciplines requires consideration of the following guidelines: novice writers need explicit instruction in what it means to write in particular disciplines; most students do not reach a voice that is fully socialized in the discipline, and therefore teachers must decide which disciplinary conventions constitute thinking in the discipline in question and which do not; students who do become socialized into a discipline need to be pushed toward the meta-cognitive stance that characterizes critical thinking; and once students have become socialized into one or more disciplines, they can then make use of explicit instruction in the abstract grammar that governs the texts they have learned to produce. (Contains 33 references.) (IAH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Montclair State Coll., Upper Montclair, NJ. Inst. for Critical Thinking.
Note: For other documents in this series, see SP 034 129-138.