NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED357377
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Social Contexts: Crossing (Exploring, Assaulting, Metabolizing?) Cultural Boundaries in the Classroom.
Davidson, Phebe
The single great value of composition theory is that it gives writing instructors ways to perceive and to talk (about)/write (about) and experience the language that they purport to teach. It is a vocabulary (or set of vocabularies) that, in its structures and definitions, (re-)structures and (re-)defines perceptions of language. If writing is a social process, there must be serious advantages to treating it as such--and to doing this by using the social dynamics accessible in the classroom as part of the course of writing instruction. In an experimental, team-taught course on censorship students were allowed to select their own topics and their modes of discourse. Subject matter was presented not only by the designated professors and students but also by a number of guest lecturers. Students completed assignments that consisted of both written (collaboratively composed proposals about a controversial work of art for which the audience would be the students' local board of education) and oral (a 15-minute dramatization of the proposal) components. Both students and teachers were forced to explore attitudes they found uncongenial. If the cultural boundaries present within the class had not been present, much of the dynamic force of the collaborative efforts would have been absent, and students would not have risen to the challenge of collaborative and not always comfortable work. That they did so, and achieved a high level of researched coherence in their work, suggests that their modes of coping with the "friction" inherent in the arrangements were both appropriate and effective, and that these do not necessarily delimit the possibilities for intercultural communication, but actually enable intellectual exchange and growth. (SAM)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A