ERIC Number: ED402583
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Breaking through "The Dominion of Facts": Sarah Josepha Hale's Instructive Legacy.
Henning, Martha L.
The 18th and 19th centuries saw a real tension between inductive and deductive methods of reason. Spokesperson for her era through her association with the popular "Godey's Ladies' Book," Sarah Josepha Hale addressed this tension in 1858, citing an article by Thomas Henry Buckle ascribing the method of deduction to women and that of induction to men, and clearly favoring deduction. Deductive reasoning is centered in community assent, while inductive thought derives from the power of the individual and reinforces that power. Authors of literature of the 1850s (recognized as "the feminine fifties"), such as Harriet Beecher Stowe in "Uncle Tom's Cabin," use symbolic references from which readers deductively construct meaning. Later 1850s' literature reflects and promotes the evaluation of women, with story movement becoming a linear progression. Educational institutions still privilege the inductive, but despite the historical precedent and the current predilection toward inductive reasoning, this can be balanced with some basic and practical implications for the composite pedagogy. In the classroom, where students' cognitive methods differ, various methods of collaborative evaluation can be considered. Taking a cue from Hale, perhaps accepting and teaching a change of mind can make an impact on the culture's order: economic, social, and political. (CR)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (47th, Milwaukee, WI, March 27-30, 1996).