Assessing the Teaching of Writing: Twenty-first century trends and technologiesAlthough fraught with politics and other perils, teacher evaluation can contribute in important, positive ways to faculty development at both the individual and the departmental levels. Yet the logistics of creating a valid assessment are complicated. Inconsistent methods, rater bias, and overreliance on student evaluation forms have proven problematic. The essays in Assessing the Teaching of Writing demonstrate constructive ways of evaluating teacher performance, taking into consideration the immense number of variables involved. Contributors to the volume examine a range of fundamental issues, including the political context of declining state funds in education; growing public critique of the professoriate and demands for accountability resulting from federal policy initiatives like No Child Left Behind; the increasing sophistication of assessment methods and technologies; and the continuing interest in the scholarship of teaching. The first section addresses concerns and advances in assessment methodologies, and the second takes a closer look at unique individual sites and models of assessment. Chapters collectively argue for viewing teacher assessment as a rhetorical practice. Fostering new ways of thinking about teacher evaluation, Assessing the Teaching of Writing will be of great interest not only to writing program administrators but also to those concerned with faculty development and teacher assessment outside the writing program.
Refiguring Prose Style: Possibilities for writing pedagogyFor about two decades, say Johnson and Pace, the discussion of how to address prose style in teaching college writing has been stuck, with style standing in as a proxy for other stakes in the theory wars. The traditional argument is evidently still quite persuasive to some--that teaching style is mostly a matter of teaching generic conventions through repetition and practice. Such a position usually presumes the traditional view of composition as essentially a service course, one without content of its own. On the other side, the shortcomings of this argument have been much discussed--that it neglects invention, revision, context, meaning, even truth; that it is not congruent with research; that it ignores 100 years of scholarship establishing composition's intellectual territory beyond "service." The discussion is stuck there, and all sides have been giving it a rest in recent scholarship. Yet style remains of vital practical interest to the field, because everyone has to teach it one way or another. A consequence of the impasse is that a theory of style itself has not been well articulated. Johnson and Pace suggest that moving the field toward a better consensus will require establishing style as a clearer subject of inquiry. Accordingly, this collection takes up a comprehensive study of the subject. Part I explores the recent history of composition studies, the ways it has figured and all but effaced the whole question of prose style. Part II takes to heart Elbow's suggestion that composition and literature, particularly as conceptualized in the context of creative writing courses, have something to learn from each other. Part III sketches practical classroom procedures for heightening students' abilities to engage style, and part IV explores new theoretical frameworks for defining this vital and much neglected territory. The hope of the essays here--focusing as they do on historical, aesthetic, practical, and theoretical issues--is to awaken composition studies to the possibilities of style, and, in turn, to rejuvenate a great many classrooms.
Revisionary Rhetoric, Feminist Pedagogy, and Multigenre TextsIn this precise and provocative treatise, Julie Jung augments the understanding and teaching of revision by arguing that the process should entail changing attitudes rather than simply changing texts. Revisionary Rhetoric, Feminist Pedagogy, and Multigenre Texts proposes and demonstrates alternative ways of reading, writing, and teaching that hear silences in such a way as to generate personal, pedagogical, and professional revisions. As both a challenge to prevailing revision pedagogies and an elaboration of contemporary feminist rhetorics, the volume encourages students and instructors to examine their identities as scholars of rhetoric and composition and to question how and why revision is taught. Jung analyzes feminist texts to identify a revisionary rhetoric that is, at its core, most concerned with creating a space in which to engage productively with issues of difference. This synthesis of feminist theory and revision studies yields a pedagogically useful definition of feminist rhetoric, through which Jung examines the insights afforded by multigenre texts in various related contexts: the academic essay, the discipline of rhetoric and composition studies, feminist composition, and the subfields of English studies including rhetoric and composition, literature, and creative writing. Jung illustrates how multigenre texts demand innovative methods of inquiry because they do not fit the conventions of any single genre. Because genre is inextricably tied to the construction of social identity, she explains, multigenre texts also offer a means for understanding and revising disciplinary identity. Boldly making a case for the revisionary power of multigenre texts, Jung retheorizes revision as a process of disrupting textual clarity so that differences can be identified, contended with, and perhaps understood. Revisionary Rhetoric, Feminist Pedagogy, and Multigenre Texts makes great strides towards defining feminist rhetoric and ascertaining how revision can be theorized, not just practiced. Jung also provides a multigenre epilogue that explores the usefulness of reconceiving revision as a progression towards wholeness rather than perfection.
Rhetoric and Writing Studies in the New Century: Historiography, pedagogy, and politicsThis collection of essays investigates the historiography of rhetoric, global perspectives on rhetoric, and the teaching of writing and rhetoric, offering diverse viewpoints. Addressing four major areas of research in rhetoric and writing studies, contributors consider authorship and audience, discuss the context and material conditions in which students compose, cover the politics of the field and the value of a rhetorical education, and reflect on contemporary trends in canon diversification. Providing both retrospective and prospective assessments, Rhetoric and Writing Studies in the New Century offers original research by important figures in the field.