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ERIC Number: ED374437
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Resistance, Receptivity, and Evolving Literacy.
Janda, Mary Ann
A question which is essential to writing is--"What am I doing?" The writer and the writing continually adjust to maintain a balance with the exigencies of the task. The question launches the writer into text by forcing a definition of the subject, situation, audience, and other such practical matters. The question, however, also pulls the writer out of the text to a position of self-examination and self-questioning essential to the communicative act. It makes possible a kind of out-of-body experience for the writer in which he or she examines the self in the act of writing in a way that at one time effaces and creates the self in the text. "What am I doing?" posits a kind of resistance to the self that is essential in all acts of communication. "What am I doing?" pushes out of that state of being becalmed back into the wind of inquiry. By valorizing expertise and devaluing inquiry, educators have removed the question from the student's experience. One journal exercise, "Letters to an Imaginary Freshman," helps overcome student resistance to the question. But in allowing the question "What am I doing?" to sit comfortably in the middle of the classroom without causing any trouble, the instructor may be resisting the moment in which her students might learn more from posing the question than they learn from assembling an answer. (NKA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A