ERIC Number: ED424578
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Critical Literacy in "White Ethnic" Classrooms: When Empowered Writing Reveals Class.
Hourigan, Maureen M.
A basic writing course instructor attempted to facilitate her students' survival in the academy by demystifying writing conventions while teaching them how to analyze discourses about literacy, especially in relation to cultural and economic forces. Students were asked to design an ideal basic writing course as a final journal assignment. Instruction in the institutionalized definition of "good writing" was what they wanted most. The "empowering" assignments the instructor had considered successful (letters to the editor, demanding crackdowns on drug-infested housing projects, for example) had no place. Students' responses from the following semester helped the instructor to realize that her students felt that a mastery of sophisticated grammar constructions would guarantee their place in the middle class, while the "real world" writing she required, supported as it was by examples from their own lives, identified them as lower class economically, an identity they cared not to confront. Three student essays are attached. (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (49th, Chicago, IL, April 1-4, 1998).