Social Class Reproduction

Four Rules for Teaching Writing:
Image result for image: joy of writing
Always give writing assignments that

1. you will enjoy reading;
2. students will enjoy writing;
3. students will enjoy reading what others in the class have written
4. you will enjoy writing.

If any one of these conditions were not true, then it probably wasn't a very good assignment.

Advice I give to my students: When your words surprise you, you know you are writing.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Having Fun

Galen asked me about writing as fun. I know that in this blog I’ve been advocating writing as fun and challenging writing as hard work. Rather than advocate my writing-as-fun position (which to me seems like a no-brainer), I wonder about the writing as hard-work. Like where do writing teachers get into this???

Bad writing tasks—the kinds most students don’t enjoy writing and responses to which the teachers don’t enjoy reading (much less, grading), tasks that come from the teacher thinking he or she needs to teach certain skills--like how to argue, how to analyze, how to document, disregarding that in most real-world writing, writers don’t add Works Cited. 

What do we get from all this writing as hard-work rhetoric? Why can’t we promote writing as play? I would love to hear what others think about this. I think the answer(s) are complicated and that they involve more than just teaching. Bowles and Gintis, Bourdieu, Appleby and many others have made clear that the educational industry has in part (if not, in whole) the function of reproducing social class relationships. So how do hard-work theories of composition play into this?

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