Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Situating Composition

I just finished "Situating Composition" by Lisa Ede and found it a really interesting book.

The book was part history and part discussion of theory and pedagogy flavored of course by Ede's unique perspective. I found much of what she said resonated with me.

She helped me work through some of my own issues in regard to process theory and helped me clarify my position.

She also gave me a lot of direction for future study, research, and reading.

I was struck by her discussion of "paradigm hope" which encourages scholars to believe the "right theory" can effect change at the level of practice. She is bothered by paradigm hope as she feels it devalues practice and distances scholars work from the scene of the classroom.

Similarly "Theory Hope" which she defines as the general hope that if we can work through an idea or issue at the level of theory it will inevitably have significance for practice.

I was also interested in her discussion of her own pedagogy and its evolution over time

Some quotes that resonated with me:

"I believe that writing needs to be understood in its "community context"

"Current focus on correctness was misplaced since what is most critical in writing are global issues of process, form, and content."

"What difference might it make if scholars in composition recognized the need for and value of multiple approaches to literacy?

"What is at stake ... our ability to enact a model of disciplinary progress that does not require the continual disvaluing of previous theories and practices."

"I have been concerned with pedagogical change and the relationship between those engaged in the practice of theory and those engaged in the practice of teaching."

"What does it mean to enact progress in a field committed to pedagogical and scholarly action."

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