Re: Freewriting

Beth W. Baldwin, PhD (
Tue, 23 Jul 1996 18:55:10 -0400

On Tue, 23 Jul 1996 sophist@UTARLG.UTA.EDU wrote:

> . . . What F&H were
> attempting were prospective protocols. They were ... and I suspect still
> are ... very suspicious of retrospective protocols, which is what most,
> if not all of you are giving here. Such accounts are just as highly
> problematic as F&H's approach. (F&H did that research a long time ago;
> they are somewhere else now.)

I can't speak for the interests of others on this list, but I would be
interested in anti-protocol (I think in the same say Eric intends
"anti-textbook"). In other words, I'm not interested in how to make a
better mousetrap; if that were the purpose of the project, it would be

I also have no interest in a project that disparages or fails to recognize
the work others have done before us/with us.

> However, I guess that the bottom line is ... Why are you 'interested' in
> this project concerning freewriting or prewriting or the process
> (processES)? I'm not sure that I understand Why.

Perhaps the "why" for me resides in the question "why teach writing."
It seems to me that these other protocols, prospective as well as
retrospective still set the "spective" on teaching writing as an end
in itself. So Eric's question, which he suggests may be another thread
(can we teach writing), is not that far away from the next tangent
which is "why" teach writing.

I think it's possible for us to go in that conversational direction
without having to reinvent mousetraps or disparage/neglect the work of
others. Am I naive?


Beth Baldwin, Ph.D. *
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University of North Carolina at Greensboro *
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