A Major Response

In a response to the Jerry Nelms criticisms (that I quoted on this blog yesterday) of his piece on InsideHigherEd.com, William Major writes:I simply offer a number of theories as to why writing instruction often has second-class status in the university, especially within English departments.Moreover, professor Nelms:1. I make no assumptions that all English professors … Continue reading A Major Response

Errors in Expectation

Today, at InsideHigherEd.com, William Major, who teaches English at Hillyer College of the University of Hartford, offers a piece called “Teaching Composition: A Reconsideration.” It's an odd article, considering what we know about the teaching of writing.The best comments on the article come from Gerald Nelms, who teaches at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Look … Continue reading Errors in Expectation

Looking Back to See

[I've also a post today on Free Exchange on Campus, "Thoughts for the New Year," on faculty responsibility under the umbrella of "academic freedom."]Sixty-six years ago, the Athenæum Press of Ginn and Company published Readings for Our Times edited by Harold Blodgett and Burgess James of Union College. As both a cultural historian and a … Continue reading Looking Back to See

Academic 2.0: Moving Web Skills into the Classroom

The following is the draft [updated 11/13/07, with thanks to Sherman Dorn and Time Barrow] for a talk I'll be giving at 1:30 this Thursday, November 15, 2007, for a session at the annual convention of the National Council of Teachers of English at the Javits Center here in New York City. The session, which … Continue reading Academic 2.0: Moving Web Skills into the Classroom

From Social Networking to Serious Learning

[This is the second blog diary in a series sparked by a teacher professional-development class that I taught, along with Marie Squerciati, at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania in June. The first can be found as an earlier entry here or here at Free Exchange on Campus, for whom I am writing this series, primarily.]Some educators … Continue reading From Social Networking to Serious Learning

“Fallacies” About Freshman Composition

Nan Miller’s “study” for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy presents six “fallacies” about freshman composition. I’d like to take this opportunity to comment on them:Fallacy 1: The purpose of English 101 in “to empower writers to membership in various discourse communities.” I’ll admit, the quote Miller chooses here is poorly worded. … Continue reading “Fallacies” About Freshman Composition

No More "Writing Whores," Please!

A friend of mine, who teaches Journalism at a college some hours away from where I teach, recently invited a magazine writer to her class.“I’m a writing whore,” the visitor declared, “I won’t write anything unless it’s for money.” She advised the students to do the same, to look for opportunities to earn twenty bucks … Continue reading No More "Writing Whores," Please!