Re: Reality check

Jeffrey R Galin (galin+@PITT.EDU)
Sat, 17 Aug 1996 16:03:50 -0400

Marcy Bauman wrote:
> My problem is, I don't see how they can be learning anything
> useful about writing unless they _are_ engaged with what they write.
> Unengaged writers aren't in a position to learn what we have to teach
> them; they're the ones who internalize the funny grammar rules
> ("Paragraphs must have three sentences," "Never start a sentence with X",
> etc. etc.), and who don't know how to deal with feedback from others when
> they get it. All unengaged writers learn is how to eat their spinach.

Now here is where you really strike a chord with me. Getting
students engaged with their writing is for me a fundamental goal. just
about everything I do in the classroom is geared to get students
interested in their work and challenged by it at the same time, a tough
balance. But this is exactly what I meant a few posts ago when I said
that creating "real" learning contexts is a often a complex process.

Much of the work I am doing right now envolves historicizing terms
that we bandy around on a daily basis like multiculturalism, literacy,
empowerment, and decentered. I'm sensitive to squishy terms like
"real" that get used to justify a host of practices, when the users really
mean something much more specific. The problem comes when the term is
used one way and received in other ways.

Thanks for clarifying.