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ERIC Number: EJ860769
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 14
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0994
Opinion: Composition Studies Saves the World!
Bizzell, Patricia
College English, v72 n2 p174-187 Nov 2009
Stanley Fish in his new book ["Save the World on Your Own Time" (New York: Oxford UP,2008)] says that composition studies presents "the clearest example" of what is desperately wrong in the academy, because in writing classrooms, he says, "more often than not anthologies of provocative readings take center stage and the actual teaching of writing is shunted to the sidelines." Fish's thesis in this book is that academics have one job only: to teach the material of their disciplines, the disciplinary methods, and objects of study. Arguing against those academics who claim that their work as teachers will foster social justice, Fish characterizes them as making a much larger claim: that their work will "save the world." In this essay, Bizzell summarizes two of the ways in which she believes composition studies can indeed contribute to making the world a better place. One: by properly teaching writing, educators help students develop abilities that will help them succeed in and beyond college, especially valuable for purposes of social redress if the students come from marginalized groups. Two: while educators are doing this teaching, they can assign materials that raise issues of social justice and foster reflection on rhetorical methods of engaging them.
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A