ERIC Number: ED400884
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Oct-2
Measuring the Consistency of the Attitudes and Practices of College Composition Instructors.
Salzman, James A.
Unlike many instruments used to measure the attitudes and practices of college composition teachers, the Survey of Attitudes and Practices of Teachers of Freshman Composition (SAPTFC) is based on a generalized theory of teaching at the college level, classifying instruction into three groups: didactic, heuristic, and philetic. In composition instruction, the didactic approach involves direct instruction in grammar and mechanics, with students reading and imitating professional models; the heuristic approach involves indirectly stimulating intellectual growth in students, by providing students with problems to work out on their own; and the philetic approach involves indirectly supporting the natural development of writing skills through free writing. To determine the consistency between expressed attitudes as reported by the SAPTFC and self-reported practices of composition instructors and to determine whether experienced instructors were more consistent in practices than inexperienced instructors, a study was conducted at Ohio's Ursuline College in 1996. The SAPTFC was administered to 303 instructors of first-year composition at 14 community colleges, four-year colleges, and universities in Ohio. The study found that while responses to the SAPTFC indicated that instructors favored heuristic and philetic approaches, the instructors themselves identified didactic approaches as most similar to their approach. In addition, no differences were found for instructors' level of experience. Contains 36 references. Data tables are appended. (AJL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Mid-Western Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, October 2-5, 1996).