The Mind And Page : Remedial Writers And Cognitive Reductionism By Mike Rose

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“Narrowing the Mind and Page: Remedial Writers and Cognitive Reductionism” by Mike Rose In this article, Rose argues against theories that have long claimed that “unsuccessful writers think in fundamentally different ways from successful writers” (325). He rejects Watkin’s theory that basic writers are field dependent learners, meaning they have difficulty abstracting information outside of their own experience; instead, Rose argues that basic writers’ responses to written assignments are a reflection of how they communicate in their own culture and environment. Rose feels that a writer’s cognitive style is not a measure of ability or how well they perform, but their manner and style performance on a task. He resists “singular, unitary cognitive explanations for poor school performance,” strongly criticizing a reductive tendency in composition to apply cognitive theories from psychology, neurology, and even literary studies to basic writing, which include narrow judgements of literate vs. oral, independent vs. dependent, concrete vs. logical, and verbal vs. spatial (325). The theory of hemisphericity suggests that each hemisphere is responsible for certain cognitive and physical functions and that we tend to rely on one half of the brain or the other. Rose expresses critiques’ concerns of this theory showing it lacks consistent proven research. Piaget’s Stages of Cognition is a theory that was tied to a 1970 study that found that half of college freshman could not

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