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ERIC Number: ED399550
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Sep
Pages: 6
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
And They Wrote Happily Ever After: The Nature of Basic Writing as Portrayed in Textbooks.
Dunbar-Odom, Donna
Composition Chronicle: Newsletter for Writing Teachers, v9 n5 p4-7 Sep 1996
Rereading the history of basic writing can serve as a context for and a springboard to a reading of selected contemporary basic writing textbooks. For critical scrutiny, articles by Joseph Harris and David Bartholomae offer retellings of the history of basic writing, retellings that challenge the more "heroic" tellings that have become part of the basic writing teaching experience. Because little training on either practical or theoretical levels exists for college teachers of basic writing, many teachers turn to textbooks for guidance and method. The textbook becomes the authority, and how success and progress occur is reflected in the textbook. Accordingly, six textbooks with diverse approaches were selected for examination. The textbooks define their audience ("fear of error" is the most common characteristic) and describe success on the local level of the student's experience with the textbooks themselves. For some textbooks, successful students will find pleasure in becoming a writer, for others success is writing skill, and still others equate success with empowerment. In fact, success for basic writing students in these textbooks may be perceived in terms of skills versus empowerment. In the future, basic writing courses and textbooks need to be designed and written so that they produce a narrative of the intellectually, developmentally, cognitively, and emotionally capable and, most importantly, literate adult. (Contains 11 references.) (CR)
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A