ERIC Number: ED377502
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Jul
Literacy and Community Pariticpation. Prepublication Draft.
Literacy experts in composition have examined the exclusionary forces of academic discourse, and have identified various forms of classroom power that result from the system of academic literacy. Little is understood about the power relations that function to relate and regulate the classroom. Largely a humanistic notion, literacy has been defined in the American university system as academic literacy, that is, instruction that values standard English usage through logical hierarchies, subordination of one idea over another, and rationalizations and categorizations reached through text-assisted memory. By definition, academically literate standards exclude new participants. For instance, although compositionalists have worked to re-envision what it means to be academically literate, few acknowledge oral communication, nor do they acknowledge the regulating experiences a new initiate can gain from verbal exchange. Some scholars, such as Patricia Bizzell, believe in a more complex notion of power for the classroom. In Bizzell's ideal classroom, students should be invited, encouraged, and engaged in the production of literacy. A rhetorical perspective would dialectically relate the professor's canonical knowledge and the students non-canonical cultural resources, replacing a passive acquisition of canonical knowledge with active engagement. Bizzell, then, suggests that "persuasion" replace "coercion"; the students must know that the instructor has their best interests in mind. (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Penn State Conference on Rhetoric and Composition (13th, University Park, PA, July 13-16, 1994).