Essay about An Integrative Approach to Teaching Writing

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An Integrative Approach to Teaching Writing

If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.

Aboriginal Activist Sister

Teachers of writing have begun to move from thinking about writing as a product with rules, to writing as a process with an authentic, individual voice, to writing as a system of social and political actions. Many feel the need to align themselves with one perspective against the others, but, "Unless we take into account these differences in perspective, we will be unable to establish sufficient common ground for moving the discussion forward" (Lindemann 288). Rob Pope, in his English Studies Book, explains
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They inform each other, although one is usually dominant in the way one thinks of writing. Which one is deserving of top position depends upon what we believe to be the role of writing and education in society.

What is it we are trying to do? Do we teach writing to help our students learn proper form and style, to help students discover their true selves, or do we help them to better understand themselves and their relationship with the world around them in order to make a difference in that world? Do we want them to accept the world they are thrust into upon graduation or do we want them to be conscious shapers of that world? I argue that these should be some of the central questions not only in composition programs, but also in all of education. Anne Ruggles Gere, in her Introduction to Into the Field, discusses teachers and theorists "reconceptualizing the discipline, deconstructing received boundaries, and reconstructing relations between theory and application" (3). It is this kind of reconceptualization I hope to propose.

Many have been struggling with this kind of reconceptualization, and have come back with a multitude of answers, like process pedagogy, expressive pedagogy, contact zone pedagogy, postmodernism, cultural studies, critical pedagogy, feminist pedagogy, post-colonialism, and service learning, just to name a few. But few have stated the extraordinarily simple point, (and perhaps its
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