ERIC Number: ED355541
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Teaching the Teacher of Writing: Whence and Whither?
Pytlik, Betty P.
The period immediately following the second World War is important for the history of the preparation of teaching assistants in this country because English instruction changed dramatically due to the enactment of the G. I. Bill in 1944. However, the long-term effect of the Bill on curriculum and pedagogy has not been documented. The G. I. Bill was instituted to make demobilization go smoothly by funding a college education for war veterans. From 1944 through 1954 over 50% of all veterans took advantage of these benefits, swelling enrollments dramatically. Major adjustments to instruction were made during the 1946-1947 year, when the biggest wave of veterans returned. Professors were hurriedly hired and provided with standard curricula. The students were distinguished by their maturity, achievement, and especially, their massive numbers. The freshman composition course, under severe attack from critics, covered the basic triad of writing themes, reading literary selections, and studying a writing handbook. Typically, new teaching assistants were given little and often no training. Numerous personal testimonies bear out this conclusion. Basically, beginning teachers drew on methods used on them over the years. During the 1950s, teacher training began to emerge as a serious discipline, focusing on rhetoric. However, such graduate methods courses emerged slowly. In short, the G. I. Bill generation of teachers, in the end, succeeded in revolutionizing the field of composition studies and the way beginning teachers are trained. (Contains 29 references.) (HB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Historical Materials; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: G I Bill