More snapshots stuff

Dina Stevenson (WXRF@GROVE.IUP.EDU)
Thu, 18 Jan 1996 02:28:29 -0500

I've been following the thread re: "question everything," & just want to say
that (IMO) even a certain amount of silly questioning can be useful. I find
that first year students are afraid of repercussions if they question --
especially if they question any idea put forth by a professor. Although I
develop a friendly rapport with my students early in the term & they hear me
questioning accepted views, many of them dont *really* believe that it's okay
for them to do so. Silly questions can be a start. If they're not ready to
challenge what is important, it can help them to loosen up & gain confidence
if their superficial questioning is at least entertained. Of course, you don't
want this to go on too long, but it is possible to gently stear them to more
serious challenges over time.

Like Ken, I tell my students that their other professors may not appreciate the
kind of open questioning we do in our writing class & talk a lot about audience
and rhetorical situation in this context. I think this makes rhetoric real and
applicable for them.