Saturday, February 16, 2008

Haswell Ch. 2 and 3

Richard H. Haswell's Gaining Ground in College Writing: Tales of Development and Interpretation, Chapter 2 "Three Interpretive Tales of Growth," and Chapter 3 "Maturing."

Although it is most likely due to a loss of engagement after a whole day of reading, I was much less enthused with Hasswell in the two chapters for this week's reading than I was last week with Chapter 1. I do understand his point, that the supposed decline, or decay or writing skills in students beyond the freshman comp class is actually more of a misinterpretation on the part of writing assessors, and that a new conception of maturation, growth and mature writing should be embraced for a truly developmental pedagogy, but I don't understand why I read so many pages just get that. I mean, sorry, I guess it's not "just," it's a very interesting position than he thoroughly explains and backs up, but damn, I'll just take his word for it--that shit was long. Sometimes reading is just too much work. What does that say for the maturation process of a student?

2 comments:

mike said...

I peeped your blog to see what you had to say about this week's reading. I think he takes so long to develop his points because what he is presenting is pretty radical as far as writing instruction/assessment goes, especially coming from the high school level. He is not making any friends that I can tell with his dismantling of all that is considered holy, not to mention pissing of political types that think education has become too liberal....

David said...

As usual, Kendra, your thoughts hit the spot like torpedoes. I agree that he seems to stretch stuff out, but Michael is right, he's attacking sacred cows. Also, Haswell is interesting to me because he takes Comp and rhet really seriously as a discipline, and proceeds only insofar as his actual research will let him go. He's an empiricist at heart, and believes in "the research." That can make for dry, but it's also something I've come to respect, big time, over the years. What he can point to as "shown" is like a tether on him. It holds him in, sometimes kinda tight.