Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Topic: Either/Or Issues

10-second review: “Is the purpose of a composition course to help students fit into society or to convince them to change it?”

Title: “Composing in a Global-Local Context: Careers, Mobility, Skills.” M Lu and B Horner. College English (November 2009), 113-133. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Comment: Another of those annoying either/or issues that English teachers like to argue about in the pages of their professional journals. Remember the process/product issue in writing and the whole language/basal issue in teaching students to read? The answer to the latter questions was “both.” And the answer to this issue is “both.” For me, the solution to controversial issues in English education is to explore whether both sides of the issue can contribute to the language growth of students.

Are there issues in life that cannot be solved by joining both sides of the issue? Certainly abortion seems to be one. But issues in English education, even if one side of the issue or the other takes on the vehemence of a moral crusade, still involve education, not morality. There is a difference.

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