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SGarza: TeachingWritingTheMajorTheories

Q: What are the major writing theories/categories?


Q: According to Gere, what is the biggest problem facing composition pedagogy/writing theories?


Michelle Garza

Gere's basic argument is that the pedagogical models of teaching have continued to fail students and young people and will continue to do so unless a connection between the teaching of rhetoric and a philosophical approach to rhetoric is established (34, 45). She establishes this by going throught the major approaches to teaching composition--explaining their strengths, but emphasizing their failures as well. She states at the end of the essay that "when the teaching rhetoric and philosophy are united, the following questions will become central to each model: What relationship exists between language and reality; What realtionship exists between thought and language; how does this model define 'truth' or 'knowledge'; what system of logic does this model employ to arrive at 'truth'?" She argues that in order to develop this "philosophical basis" we must continue to ask questions like these concerning the current teaching models.

Q: Gere talks about Berlin's ideas of rhetoric in Composition studies: "According to Berlin, the current-traditional model "demands that the audience be as 'objective ' as the writer; both shed personal and social concerns in the interests of the unobstructed perception of emipirical current-traditonal rhetoric the writermust focus on experience in a way that makes possible the wdiscovery of certain kinds of information--the empirical and rational--and the neglect of other--psychological and social concerns" (as cited, 32). How I understood Berlin, is he basically believes that reading is an interpretive act--that we read "through the lense" of our individual experiences in the world, but not necessarily from our "world view" in the political sense of the word, I guess...Can the two be separated though? How so? If it is possible, how does this idea apply to how we percieve writing conventions and its processes?

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Page last modified on March 02, 2009, at 07:21 PM CST