Tate says, "Diverse voices invigorate our disciplinary conversations but can also present a formidable challenge to those just entering the field." I agree with his statement, but after awknowledging the issue, how do we overcome this challenge, especially for those, like myself, that do not fall into the composition/rhetoric category? I enjoy English studies specifically for the literary aspect, but I feel that is taken away with composition studies and substituted with classroom techniques. My point is, I would like to become interested in the composition side, but would have to find a happy medium. Any advice?
Response by Ed
That line caught my attention also. I understand your situation because I find myself feeling the same. If a person likes to write, I think it's good to know about all aspects of writing. The interesting thing to me is that most of the feelings we have inside that pertain to writing are given names. In reading Tate's preface, I have never heard of expressive pedagogy...but I can already tell that I'm going to like it mucho...maybe even become a purveyor of expressive pedagogy. Unknowingly, I may already be promulgating this pedagogy in my daily life but now I know my practice has a name.Tate writes that we should ask ourselves why do we react positively to some pedagogies and negatively to others? (vii) To me, it's kind of like the Lit Crit course: Much of the visceral markings in your being will find a place with a title or label to create a fulcrum from where your ideas emanate.
Response by Shawn
I have been asking myself the same questions, Michelle. After only reading the beginnings of these books, I am wondering what I should bring to the discussion in reference to everything I have learned previously about English, pedagogies, and English pedagogies. As far as rhetoric goes, I would be "just entering the field," but I wonder if my knowledge of the other fields of English studies that I am more familiar with will help or hinder my learning in this class.
I also definitely agree with Ed. It is good to know about all aspects of writing. I feel like my time at TAMUCC will end with at least a general knowledge of all, if not most, aspects of writing. As a 4-8 ELA teacher, I'm not quite sure how I will use that in the classroom, but I would rather know a little bit about everything than a lot about one or two specific facets. The English language is constantly evolving anyway. The least we can do is find the "tools" that these guys speak of so we can be ready for anything and be able to adapt.
Response by Wendy
For me, it helps to use an analogy. Learning composition is like an artist learning the properties of paint. What draws him to the field is the color, the expressiveness of the brush, the thrill of creation and the ability to see his inner vision outwardly realized. Learning the properties of the paint is not such fun, it doesn't offer the same kinds of rewards and it seems so - unnecessary. But then he realizes that because he used one type of paint on the Mona Lisa it will likely last centuries while the paint used on the Last Supper began to break down within years. As a lover (perhaps even a writer) of literature, knowing these properties enables you to see what is there to a much deeper level, talk about them with others and put them to use in ways that might not have occurred to you before. Even so, I still find it necessary to remind myself, often, that this will ultimately give me a much richer literary experience.