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By the end of the first quarter, 0 - 153 - 181 SUPPORTING PRACTICES almost all of my students have come to trust that I have been honest with them and that the approaches and attitudes I have custom essays writing service fostered will be successful in any classroom or real-world setting. Some students never trust me, and some never attempt the required rewriting instant paper writer sched- ule. Under those circumstances, they have learned that writing is not a central concern of the English classroom. As the year passes, those students fall so far behind tfreir classmates instant paper writer that recovery is virtually impossible. One major factor in this failure is lack of student motivation. If a student does not want to learn to write — or even to write at all — a class in which all grading depends on writing is an instant trap for failure. Yet I have found over sixteen years that my students go on to thrive in college writing situations. They are praised by their pro- fessors, and they have much greater confidence as writers and thinkers than many of their college-level peers. The open-ended workshop approach to teaching writing is our best hope for fos- tering independent young writers. My activities are grounded in a belief that when young people face the chaotic and relative nature of lan- guage and the world, they are better able to take control of their own lives and better able to contribute to the good of society.

Ultimately, teachers of writing must decide whether the goal of 2 - 154 - Being Honest about Writing and Individual Freedom our work is to inculcate grammar rules that are at best debatable and are certainly temporal, or whether the goal is to empower and free our students through language. Further, I contend that linear thinking and behavioristically grounded instruction produce a false appearance of being edu- cated.

Gardner (1991, 1999) argues for learning for understand- ing. If students are allowed to experiment with the open-ended nature of the writing process and writing forms while they are mentored by supportive teachers, they are more likely to attain an awareness and an understanding of writing that is applicable in their personal and professional growth. Again, we can indoc- trinate and demand memorization of rules, assessing with gram- mar text-type tests, but what will that accomplish? In addition, this approach draws heavily on the more recent reevaluation of the writing process as a chaos model (Weaver 1996, 83). The process steps themselves — brainstorming, draft- ing, rewriting, formatting — are valid and effective tools for teach- ing.

What Weaver and others are arguing is that those steps occur simultaneously and chaotically as a piece is being prepared. A writer brainstorms initially, of course, but format and purpose are often in mind during that initial stage. Also, as a writer pro- duces a first or second draft, further brainstorming is occurring, and issues of format and organization arise as the work appears on the page. Ultimately, such activities must incorporate our current but ever-changing understanding of language acquisition. The work of Pinker (1994, 1999) shows that how young people acquire language is still greatly debated.

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When writing instruction is primarily imposed, we are wasting student time and crushing their will to learn and their opportunities for empowerment. When writing instruction springs from the students themselves, the possibilities are endless. Since our understandings shift constantly, teaching methodologies must be flexible, open-ended enough to allow for instruction to shift as our knowledge of language acquisition grows. We are left with experimenting with the student-centered, open-ended approaches to fostering writing in our students. Works Cited - 156 - ERIC Being Honest about Writing and Individual Freedom Gardner, Howard. The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think and How Schools Should Teach. The Disciplined Mind: What All Students Should Under- stand. Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language. Chapter Seventeen O ERIC Conflicting Voices in the Classroom: Developing Critical Consciousness lthough I teach at a large university set in a metropolitan area, many of my students come from surrounding rural counties that are relatively insulated. The average professional essay writers review student age is twenty-seven, and there is a variable number of both traditional and nontraditional students. In any given class, an instructor might have students ranging in age from eighteen to thirty. Many of these students have not been introduced to diverse groups of people or contexts, so when they take their first composition class, some of them are asked to grapple with sociopolitical issues such as race, gender, class, and sexuality for the first time. They also have few tools with which to negotiate new information. While the uni- versity is still dedicated to the urban mission, the mandate is to gain prominence as a research institution. Much of the work that had been done in terms of remediation is being redirected to neigh- boring schools (instant paper writer junior colleges), where students are able to make a seamless transition to the university — at least in theory. How this shift toward research will affect the focus and pedagogical goals of instructors is yet to be seen.

We might, however, hypoth- esize that the composition of the student body, in terms of class and perhaps race, will be affected to some degree. I anticipate that this shift will crystallize the homogeneity of the current stu- dent body.

Annette Harris Powell University of Louisville - 158 - Conflicting Voices in the Classroom How the university and thus how the classroom is constructed ultimately influences the dialogue that takes place in our class- rooms. Student response to the instructor is also significant.

As a woman of color teaching at a state university with a generally homogenous student body, I often face students who have had few or no teachers of color and who at times offer strong resistance to the issues I attempt to raise. I remember wondering, naively, what my students see first when they walk into my class: my gender or my color. The answer has become obvious to me in light of some of the reactions my students have had to my pedagogy.

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