Reinventing The University - Literacies and legitimacy in the postmodern academy
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Christopher Schroeder spends almost no time disputing Bartholomae's famous essay, but throughout ReInventing the University, he elaborates an approach to teaching composition that is at odds with the tradition that essay has come to represent.
On the other hand, his approach is also at odds with elements of the pedagogies of such theorists as Berlin, Bizzell, and Shor. Schroeder argues that, for students, postmodern instability in literacy and meaning has become a question of the legitimacy of current discourse of education. Schroeder is committed, then, to constructing literacies jointly with students, and by doing so to bring students to engage more deeply with education and society.
This does not mean he abandons traditional discourse of traditional practice in the classroom; rather, tradition becomes only one voice among many, instead of the dominating one. ReInventing the University is an extended discussion of why Schroeder feels this is necessary, how he tries to construct literacies that have legitimacy with students, and what his experiences could mean for classrooms, departments, and disciplines.
A challenging, breakthrough book ReInventing the University articulates a new standard by which pedagogy in composition must now be considered.
clear to me—how to prepare students to expect something different without turning the course into a theory course at the outset. While I am a proponent, in general, of telling students what to expect when they are about to encounter the unfamiliar, here I think one needs to blend familiar with unfamiliar, creating exercises, perhaps, that resemble what students are used to doing, and then talking about them in new ways. I’m not sure, in relation to this issue, what you mean when you talk about
Bartholomae’s observation that, in appropriating (or being appropriated by) academic discourses, students must negotiate a “compromise” between personal and disciplinary histories as they, in effect, invent the university “by assembling and mimicking its language,” or at least appearing to do so, long before they become proﬁcient in these literacies. In the remainder of “Inventing the University,” he offers suggestions for establishing credibility and authority within academic culture(s),
these cultural values, or, if they intend to resist, they must do so within institutionally prescribed ways—what Bartholomae calls taking “possession” of the discourse by locating “themselves within it aggressively, self-consciously” or doing intellectual work “within and against conventional systems” (607). Thus, the forms of resistance are determined before those students who dare to resist even do so. Now, I do not want to deny the insights that Bartholomae has into the realities that students
dialogic literacies go beyond offering choices about how students arrange their desks or whether they raise their hands or if teachers use pluses or minuses, as in Shor’s classrooms—and even beyond beginning with students’ experiences or contextualizing canons and cultural codes, as in Berlin’s—to substantive and signiﬁcant shifts in classroom practices and theorizations about experiences. As Bizzell suggests early in this chapter, it is extremely difﬁcult by a “collective act of will” to
it is virtually impossible to live upon T.A. and adjunct salaries. As a teaching assistant, I earned $3,750 plus tuition remission each semester, and later as an adjunct, I would be paid $500 a credit hour, which meant that, if I taught the maximum load allowed by that institution—three courses—for the semester, I would earn $4,500 each term. To make matters worse, I learned that, upon graduating, I would be entering into a job search in which, only 35.7% of new Ph.D.s in the classics, modern