Re: anti is ok (getting to 'why')

Eric Crump (wleric@SHOWME.MISSOURI.EDU)
Wed, 31 Jul 1996 14:50:44 -0500

On Tue, 30 Jul 1996, Beth wrote:
>It follows then that we question writing itself and the role it plays. Is
>our "end" writing, or is writing a "mean to an end," some other end?

Yeah! I think that's right, Beth. We can (and often do) get so preoccupied
with helping students master discrete skills that we lose sight of *why*
they should want to have those skills in the first place. I get frustrated
with our program sometimes because it's stated goals are to prepare
students for academic discourse, to help them write well while they're in
college. Um, if we pursue that goal too conscientiously (often too
myopically) we risk serving students well only for the short term. But the
larger goal of the university is to help students succeed in the Rest of
Life. We trust (too willingly, too unquestioningly) that success in college
courses will translate, even though so many of those courses are concerned
with narrow bits of unconnected knowledge.

>I think that this experience will help us to evaluate our methodology. It
>certainly isn't a cop-out.

That brings to my mind what maybe should be the next technical step, now
that two (rough) pieces have been created. We've got a way to collect
stories. We've got a way to start collecting research. How do we get them
to interact? How can the stories help us evaluate our methodologies and how
can the research help us apprehend and interpret and apply the stories?

I'm not sure how to proceed exactly. Hmmmm...