ERIC Number: ED450377
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Nov
Rethinking Dogma: Teaching Critical Thinking in Freshman Composition.
Though the expressivist and process movements rightly banished literary interpretation from the writing class, they went much too far in similarly banishing the study of texts and reading in favor of the "productive" act of writing. This paper argues that undergraduates can play their "professors' game," the Burkean parlor game of Kristeva's intertextuality and Bakhtin's heteroglossia. The paper asks how professors can teach their students the "new rules," and it contends that the ideal place to issue the invitation is the freshman composition class that so long ago was declared off-limits to reading. It states that it is time to recognize that reading, too, is productive, both as the crucial flip side of writing and as a significant part of the conversation that leads to production and affirmation of new meaning and knowledge. It argues that it is time to introduce students to the sorts of reading--critical and contributive--on which their professors, as professional academics, rely. The paper first provides an overview of what is known about elementary reading instruction and about high school and informational reading. It then discusses critical and contributive reading and details ways of teaching such reading in the composition course. The paper concludes that since one semester of reading instruction is rarely sufficient to produce marked change, the next difficult but necessary step will be trying to quantify any improvement. (Contains 29 references.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (90th, Milwaukee, WI, November 16-21, 2000).