Preparing To Teach Writing: Research, Theory, and Practice
James D. Williams
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Preparing to Teach Writing: Research, Theory, and Practice, Third Edition is a comprehensive survey of theories, research, and methods associated with teaching composition successfully. The primary goal is to provide practicing and prospective teachers with the knowledge they need to be effective teachers of writing and to prepare them for the many challenges they will face in the classroom.
Overall, the third edition of Preparing to Teach Writing is clearer and more comprehensive than the previous editions. It combines the best of the old with new information and features. The discussions and references to foundational studies that helped define the field of rhetoric and composition are preserved in this edition. Also preserved is most of the pedagogical apparatus that characterized the first two editions; research and theory are examined with the aim of informing teaching.
New in the Third Edition:
*a more thorough discussion of the history of rhetoric, from its earliest days in ancient Greece to the first American composition courses offered at Harvard University in 1874; *a major revision of the examination of major approaches to teaching writing--current-traditional rhetoric, new rhetoric, romantic rhetoric, writing across the curriculum, social-theoretic rhetoric, postmodern rhetoric, and post-postmodern rhetoric--considering their strengths and weaknesses;
*an extension of the discussion of strengths and weaknesses of major approaches to its logical conclusion--Williams advocates an epistemic approach to writing instruction that demonstrably leads to improved writing instruction when implemented effectively;
*a more detailed account of the phonics--whole language debate that continues to puzzle many teachers and parents;
*a new focus on why grammar instruction alone does not lead to better writing, the difference between grammar and usage, and how to teach grammar and usage effectively;
*an expanded section on Chicano English that now includes a discussion of Spanglish;
*more information on outcome objectives; the Council of Writing Program Administrators' statement of learning outcomes for first-year composition courses has been included to help high school teachers better understand how to prepare high school students for college writing, and to help those in graduate programs prepare for teaching assistantships in first-year composition courses; and
*a more comprehensive analysis of assessment that considers such important factors as the validity, reliability, predictability, cost, fairness, and politics of assessment and the effects on teaching of state-mandated testing, and also provides an expanded section on portfolios.
discovery of truth and led to cynicism with respect to human values. Such cynicism not only was contrary to accepted notions of justice, philosophy, and rhetoric but also was contrary to the primary emphasis of Socrates and Plato. Another explanation is based on disagreements over politics and philosophy. Although the Sophists probably did not overtly support democracy, they nevertheless argued that nomos was superior to physis and that at least a rudimentary form of civic virtue was innate. Both
couldn’t help but notice that your brother’s hair is really long. Is he in a band, or is that just the style in Japan? Boys here don’t wear their hair long at all. In fact, they keep it very short. Some actually shave their heads. It seemed strange to me to see your brother’s hair—it reminded me of pictures I’ve seen of boys in the 1960s, when everyone was a hippy. You can see my parents in one of the pictures I’ve sent. Everyone says I look like my mom. I’ve also included one of my room. If you
groups with the best records out for ice-cream cones at the end of each semester. The biannual gatherings have become something of a ritual, and students work hard to stretch their limits, not so much for the ice cream but for the honor of being among a select few. Many elementary teachers get similar results with “homework slips.” They give these slips to students who have done exemplary work; then on any given day, the students can use a slip to skip a homework assignment by writing the
“best fit,” because the child’s articulation does not exactly match that of the parent. Correction efforts typically last through three turns per incident. In addition, as the child becomes older, the number of incidents decreases rapidly, falling off to near zero by the time a child is around 6 or 7. The principle of behavioral efficiency precludes an indefinite give-and-take with respect to any one word or even any set of phonemes, thus opening the door for slight variations in phonetic
purposes. The other meanings of the word must develop over time and are unlikely to be part of any child’s mental representations because children below the age of, say, 10, don’t have any meaningful experiences with bicameral forms of government or with situations in which the noun is used as a verb. Nevertheless, when children see the words gull and house without a context, they are able to assign a meaning to these words, although the meaning will be linked to the associated mental