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ERIC Number: ED359530
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Apr-3
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Argument, Free Speech, and the Politics of Deliberation in the Composition Classroom.
Moneyhun, Clyde
The classical marketplace metaphor for intellectual exchange forms the ideological basis for the way argument is still taught in composition classrooms, where supposedly students are being prepared to participate as full citizens in an equal democracy. However, such a view of democratic citizenship, free speech, and argument is open to criticism for many reasons. Three chapters on argument from commonly used composition textbooks were analyzed for signs of this ideology. The textbooks described argument as practiced by equal participants on a level playing field. Participants must play by the rules, according to the texts. Facts and figures that are judged scientifically are privileged forms of information. The texts ask writers to move toward a consensus rather than become involved as interested partisans. Many teachers continue to believe in the myth of democratic participation. Karl Marx has critiqued such a position as being merely the veiled tricks of the ruling class to maintain control and power. Oppressed peoples must be convinced that they are not, in fact, oppressed. Preaching to economic and social subordinates that they are democratically "equal" to their oppressors is to obscure the truth of their situation and to deny them freedom and reality. Thus, teaching composition must be altered from its current dependence on the democratic myth to a model more in tune with the liberating tendencies of radical pedagogies. (Contains 15 references.) (HB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A