Inkshedding selections - Session 5

On Geoff Cragg and Barbara Schneider's "Is There a Text in My Class?"

One of the problems I have had with the use of the text is finding one that is in a 'voice' sufficiently close to mine that I feel my students will perceive parallels/ resonance's between what they hear me say and they read in our text. (Pat)

If we grant too much authority and power to text then it I very likely that we are going to perpetuate the mistake of denying the Reformative aspect of the learning process.

One thing I worry about is that some first year students may want a strong authoritative voice of a textbook rather than being initiated into the world of real scholars where everything is flimsy.

-- Tosh

Textbooks occupy a niche in the ecology of writing that is reserved for a poisonous reptile. What "the text" does in the way its reading is constructed and engaged in -- is render text more monologic and invite the 'passive empathic' mode of reading Bonnie referred to earlier.

-- Russ

The philosophical issues I think are more interesting: How do textbooks affect the teacher-student and student-student dynamic? (maybe that isn't a philosophical so much as a political question.)

A class is always capable of designing, creating its own text . . that's where the most effective learning takes place.

The cross careerist, crudely materialist attempt to motivate writing students by asserting good writing leads to SUCKCESS addresses many students as they are entering our classes; surely we should invoke less selfish motives.

A text can provide a singular POV on a particular issue but the Prof. &/or students can offer the counter arguments.

-- Pat S.

What is indeed valuable in the non virtual-classroom ... [is] that which cannot be textualized ...

What I want the students to know about reading and writing, I'll tell them. I'll try to figure out what they know, and when.

On Betsy Sargent's "Resisting the Teaching Subtext in Composition Textbooks"

Betsy's presentation is reminder of the way in which we can be surprised by students' courage and unpredictably.

I'm glad I never got an e-mail like that. "Are you the right prof for me?" What do students think this is, a self-validation factory?

But your student also needs to write a biology lab report and a philosophy essay and a criminology research essay -- and I wonder if the animal can find sustenance, a discursive home, in these other situations.

The way that students talk about writing as a totally engaging process -- mind, body, and soul -- made me remember that writing is a natural act, a form of expression we ALL have available, simply by virtue of being literate humans...

One of the most striking passages I ever read about teaching writing was by a theorist who asked, "How often do we write in front of our students?"

We all write when we are tired, uninspired, and basically uninterested in readers. (What can we do?) Writing will be an act of faith, of hope, and, we care as much as we can. That's all. Lynn Holmes

On Ken Tallman's "Dropping Pretensions: The Writing Centre in 2000"

... what we think we are doing for/with a student turns out not to be the case, and then, sometimes, transformations take place for reasons that are unknown.... modeling for students how we as writers work on and work through end work over texts can be very effective!

it appears that taking [the text] on may have modeled for her the kind of thinking in which she might engage ... it took her ideas seriously, saw the potential in them.

And, on the topic of inkshedding:

These are a few problems with inkshedding from a neophyte:

1. no time to digest
2. the publication process -- I like the idea, but it seems to smack of competition, quality control, etc

Also, I don't know about the inkshed we just got -- everything seemed difficultly decontextualized -- maybe we need to do more sharing in context in small groups.


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