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ERIC Number: EJ872619
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 21
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 63
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0994
Lone Wolf or Leader of the Pack?: Rethinking the Grand Narrative of Fred Newton Scott
Mastrangelo, Lisa
College English, v72 n3 p248-268 Jan 2010
Americans are obsessed with heroes, and they seemingly create them from anyone and everyone, anywhere and everywhere. This predilection is also clear in American histories. Their belief in heroes shows their connection to their society and culture, their willingness to follow someone in their social settings, and their belief that good people who represent "right" should be followed. They also prefer the single-person "celebrity" narrative over the group. Though the single person may or may not reflect the ideology of the group, they are still drawn to the individual. Composition history, unfortunately, has also fallen prey to the practice of designating heroes. Fred Newton Scott has long been a hero in the field--a "good man teaching well," as it were, who ran the only graduate program in rhetoric and composition in the country between 1894 and 1926, championed progressive forms of rhetorical education and, according to lore, fought a losing battle against standardization and lecture-based models of teaching. Scott also worked to convince others of a thick and complex definition of rhetoric, and the need to teach writing as a set of complex tools rather than a rigidly defined set of skills to be mastered. In addition, he was president of both the Modern Language Association (MLA) and National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), as well as the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and the American Teachers of Journalism. This essay explores the ways in which the story of Scott became so canonical: How does a myth like that of Scott get created and perpetuated? Who else might have been the "hero"? Next, the author explores what is at stake with doing so--what are the risks taken in continuing Scott's hero narrative? (Contains 17 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A