Re: Re[8]: Reassessing our practices

Ted Nellen (tnellen@MBHS.BERGTRAUM.K12.NY.US)
Thu, 15 Feb 1996 16:56:59 -0500

> Mike Hamende wrote:

> This also seems a way to move from the monologic essay and toward real
> rhetorical practice and dialogue. Maybe this is the answer to "what do
> replace the essay with?" However, I wonder how this will be received by
> those other departments who already suspect us of not really teaching
> students to write?
> Comments? Thoughts? I'd be interested in hearing from the gentleman who
> said yesterday that he had given up the traditional essay for an on-line
> dialogue. I assume you or the class pose questions or present topics and
> have the class "go at it?"

The essay is linear and the web is hypertextual. Mastering that has been
and is frustrating, but oh so rewarding. Thought is hypertextual. I see
this concept of "alternative" publishing evolving. Yes, it is moving
from the monologic essay and evolving into something else. Again, I
suggest it is a spiral evololution. What Socrates was doing so long ago
in his marketplace is what we are doing on the web with our students, or
trying to. Having them evolve and to move on is difficult work. I feel
successful, but sometimes I don't see it until I review the AP class work
and other essay forms which represent linear design. On-line dialogue
sounds like something I think will eventually evolve a marriage of MOO
and WWW. Now that would be Socratic and present a unique form of
dialogue. Imagine, going to a web page and then getting into a dialogue
with the writer or with other readers.

Ted 8-)