ERIC Number: ED372413
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Mar-18
Breeding the "Evil Twin" in the Composition Classroom.
Young, Beth Rapp
The conditions under which graduate students teach freshman composition militate against a comfortable and productive relationship between instructors and students. As instructors are constrained by political forces beyond their control, such as lack of position and power, teaching undervalued courses, and the lack of respect from students, their position can be improved only if the academic community is willing to address and change those political forces. Largely because of these conditions, one instructor, now at Rollins College, found that she and her students had become "evil twins," to borrow a term from Jane Tompkins; that is, both the instructor and the students were acting from defensive postures. The classroom quickly became a hostile environment, in which the instructor attempted to prove her worth through lecturing or performing and the students showed their disrespect for the class and the instructor through rude behavior. Advice that colleagues and advisers offered this instructor were of minimal value. The insecurities inherent in the position of the graduate student and the scholarly demands placed on him or her by research faculty make experimental collaborative learning, as described by Tompkins, an unpromising possibility. (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (45th, Nashville, TN, March 16-19, 1994).