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ERIC Number: ED380806
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Mar-18
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
In Search of Mina Shaughnessy: A Comparison of Mina Shaughnessy and K. Patricia Cross.
McAlexander, Patricia J.
One way to identify the essential Mina Shaughnessy would be to look at her views in light of the conflicts of the 1970s. It is particularly revealing to compare Shaughnessy to another great basic writing pioneer of that decade, K. Patricia Cross, whose 1971 book "Beyond the Open Door" Shaughnessy lists as a suggested reading in "Errors and Expectations." First, Cross approaches her subject from the perspective of a social scientist, while Shaughnessy approaches hers from the perspective of a humanities scholar. Cross's tone is often impersonal and scientific; Shaughnessy's is personal, poetic, and passionate. Second, Cross's definition of "new students" is mathematical: they are the lowest third of the nation's high school graduates. Shaughnessy bases her definition of "new students" on her own personal experiences as an instructor at City College of New York. Third, according to Cross, the major obstacles to the progress of "new students" are their lack of academic ability and their resulting lack of effort. To Shaughnessy, however, "new students" lack neither ability or effort; rather, they mainly lack experience. For this, she blames the educational system. Fourth, Cross envisioned a two-track college system that would accommodate "new students" without necessarily making them proficient in mainstream academic skills. Shaughnessy, by contrast, believed "new students" could succeed in the mainstream curriculum. (Contains 12 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