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ERIC Number: ED376471
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Composition Theory: Taking It Apart and Putting It Back Together Again.
Sydow, Debbie L.
Despite the fact that social constructivism is accepted as the guiding theory in Composition, that this theory is the field's theoretical center of gravity, it does not account for, nor explain, the entire writing process. Two major challenges to social constructivism must also be considered in theoretical discussions: (1) the cognitive dimension and (2) the expressionist dimension. The first challenge is a questioning of the fundamental premise upon which the theory is based, that is, that language is essential for and inseparable from thought. Theorists who challenge this premise assert that there are non-verbal aspects of cognition that social constructivist theory fails to account for. Mark Sadoski maintains that thinking in images precedes verbal thinking. Before a person can even begin to write, Sadoski explains, he or she must develop what George Herbert Mead called a "generalized other," a generic audience or other against which we create a persona, a way of presenting ourselves as writers. It is imagination that allows a writer to create a persona to communicate with others, and it is imagination that allows us to visualize a potential communicative act. The second challenge to social constructivism, expressionism, suggests that knowledge can exist on different planes. North (1987), Bereiter and Scardamalia (1987) and others have included in their review of viable research methodologies both protocol analysis and textual analysis. These methodologies attest to subjectivist and positivist epistemologies and indeed sanction them. (Contains 13 references.) (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A