Re[2]: grading ourselves to death

Michael Hamende (HamendeM@CTS.DB.ERAU.EDU)
Thu, 5 Sep 1996 17:26:46 EST

Beth says:

"But, we don't often think of our students as future citizens. We
want to think of them as workers of some sort (white collar of course)
or as creative writers or scholars. In each case, their writing
demands would be different. But no matter what they end up pursuing
as a career, they *will* be citizens."

Sharon Crowley says:

" The aim of ancient rhetorics was to distribute the power that is
resident in language among all of its students. This power is
available to anyone who is willing to study the principles of
rhetoric. People who know about rhetoric know how to persuade others
to consider their point of view without having to resort to threats,
coercion, or violence. I assume that most people prefer talking their
way out of a potential barroom brawl to fighting it; I assume further
(without much historical justification, I admit) that nations would
rather confer over the bargaining table than go to war. A knowledge
of rhetoric also allows people to discern when others are making bad
arguments or are asking them to make inappropriate choices. Since
rhetoric confers the gift of greater mastery over language, it can
also teach those who study it to evaluate anyone's rhetoric; thus the
critical capacity conferred by rhetoric can free its students from the
manipulative rhetoric of others.
To say that "knowledge is power" is a commonplace; but the
commonplace is accurate where rhetorical knowledge is concerned. When
this knowledge is available to only a few people, the power inherent
in persuasive discourse is disproportionately shared. Unfortunately,
throughout history rhetorical knowledge has usually been shared only
among those who can exert other kinds of power as well-economic or
social. But ordinary citizens can learn to deploy rhetorical power;
and if they have the courage to deploy it skillfully and often, it is
possible that they may change other features of our society as well.

In this book, then, I aim to help my readers become more skillful
as speakers and writers. I also aim to help them become better

When one operates on a factory/socialization model one teaches
writing, speaking, and thinking as disjointed topics in disperet
academic departments populated by almost dead old white guys who
expouse the Truth.

When operates on a learning/education model we teach all that it takes
to create "good citizens." Once again, Beth hits the bullseye.

Mike Hamende