In this discussion, I will define rhetorical reflection and outline its relevant links to rhetoric and invention, then discuss the significance of rhetorical reflection as a concept and pedagogical activity within the field of Rhetoric and Composition. Rhetorical reflection, as I define it, represents a teacher-prompted activity that occurs within the activity or writing for the purpose of validity testing or problem-solving. Typically, these acts of reflection come between the drafts, after peer feedback and before revision begins. The portfolio letter represents the most typical kind of curricular reflection.
Some conditions I was addressing nearly two decades ago have changed, but the failure persists to recognize that certain areas of higher education have long taken teaching very seriously.
Chief among them is composition studies. There are, surprise, students in classrooms, and students are, just maybe, complicated subjects. There are, surprise, ways of teaching beyond having students listen, read, and report. There might be, surprise, some need for college teachers to know theory and research on teaching.
And just maybe this knowledge and experience and ability could actually count in tenure and promotion. People who have discovered all these things range from deans to trustees to, even, a recent president of the Modern Language Association.
I repeat her claim: So let me get the worst out of the way and put my argument in a nutshell.
New sites for the promotion of pedagogy emerge, things like Centers for Teaching Excellence. Leading many of these efforts are writing programs and their directors, who after all have long lived on the land of teaching.
But even as writing programs show their savvy and warm hearts, I fear that our leadership will ultimately go unrecognized or forgotten.
The recent celebration of teaching, then, ironically functions further to marginalize composition studies, whose historical identity has been entwined with pedagogy. At this point, I know I should qualify things. What is the difference between PhD-granting and non-PhD granting institutions, between historically strong and active writing programs and mere place holders, between large schools and small?
How do arguments about abolishing the universal freshman writing requirement intersect with this general education reform? And, most importantly, why should we care?
I mean, is it just a matter of ego that that composition studies should get credit for having been concerned about teaching apparently long before other disciplines have been?
These seminars fall into four main types. A second type of seminar deals with basic study skills: Such seminars have been around for decades, especially at liberal arts colleges. Sometimes they exist in conjunction with required composition, sometimes instead of it.
A liberal arts college about a dozen blocks from my own office discarded freshman writing a few years ago, for complex reasons including a perception that not having freshman writing enhanced the prestige of the place.
What I now find interesting, though, is the slow movement at some larger universities to institute such courses. There are complicated reasons why, but I want to sketch three of them. Calls for student-centered classrooms, interactive inquiry-based learning, and process-directed teaching are familiar to us in composition studies.
In addition to an Academic Bill of Rights, the report suggests ten ways to change undergraduate education. Of particular interest is number five: The course should emphasize explanation, analysis, and persuasion and should develop the skills of brevity and clarity.
Now, this is quite a remarkable recommendation. I could say much about the view of writing embodied here, especially the utilitarian values signaled by brevity and clarity and the view of writing as transmission and the direction of that transmission as always down.
But more pertinent is the claim that freshman writing courses must depend on other courses because they lack serious intellectual content.
But the statement implies that such is the current general state of freshman writing. These assumptions align with a second joist for freshman seminars.
Various writers have called for tempering large freshman lectures with at least some small, interactive courses.CHAPTER 9 Teaching Composition: Current Theories and Practices REBECCA E. BURNETT AND LEE-ANN MARIE KASTMAN Iowa State University While there is a more than two-century history of teaching writing to secondary-level students in the United States, there is little agreement about the most effective way to teach composition.
"In this book, George Hillocks teaches us not only what an argument is, but how to teach it and why we should. Essential reading for those preparing ALL Teaching Argument Writing, Grades by George Hillocks Jr.
Supporting. Hildegard Scivias Hillocks, George, Jr. Teaching Writing as Reflective Practice. New York: Teachers College P, Hillocks Teaching Writing as Reflective Practice Hugh of St. Victor. Scribd is the world's largest social reading and publishing site.
The absence of “content” in standardized testing is taken up in an essay by George Hillocks called “The Focus on Form versus Content in Teaching Writing”.
In this piece Hillocks reviews state writing tests and finds a pervasive deemphasis of evidence and content. Jun 27, · George Hillock’s book Teaching Writing as Reflective Practice represents one important example in the field of writing.
This kind of reflection focuses predominantly on generating the moment-by-moment capacity for effective practice (similar to practical wisdom or phronesis).