Sunday, April 4th, 2004
This is a culture question. But I wonder if college composition can really be effective, however it’s taught, if students in the these kinds of courses don’t read or write as a matter of habit in their own personal lives?
Another issue: soon I’ll be doing a debate on the matter of American juries, and I’m wondering if students will come to class with any context, such as the problem with the Tyco case. Will a few news snippets do to lay context? Or should people come in to class having read about it? Will people really have knowledge about background?
It’s one thing to distrust print and TV news (which calls for criteria of judgement, and some warranting of distrust: distrust is often a herd response), but does this mean that we should ignore issues entirely? Shouldn’t people in general, especially if they are college students, be aware of what’s going on in the world, whatever that may mean? Then the question: can composition be effective if people come into class without some cultural context? The key term is “effective.”
So, to repeat: This is a culture question. But I wonder if college composition can really be effective, however it’s taught, if students in the these kinds of courses don’t read or write as a matter of habit in their own personal lives?
P.S. The writing that I’m getting in composition and literature courses is not a reflection of peopls’s lack of intelligence (my students are all really smart, some smarter than I am, of course) or potential but it does reflect a true imbalance in understanding of basic writing conventions and basic logic “in writing.” Given this, is composition basically an obsolete affair?