Provocative reading in The Chronicle of Higher Education : Joseph R. Teller, “Are We Teaching Composition All Wrong?” A sample:
I have tried requiring students to write only three essays developed over several drafts, each of which I comment on without a grade. I have used peer workshops to help students respond to each other’s writing. I have used portfolio systems and deferred-grading schemes. I have cajoled; I have encouraged; I have experimented with more rubrics than I can count.Teller’s conclusion: these strategies rarely work.
One comment on this essay (quoting from and taking issue with a previous comment) signals some of the troubles that beset the world of English:
This is not an “experienced professional” in the field of writing and rhetoric: “English professor” means the person teaches in the English department, and there are many literature professors, as is Mr. Teller, who also have to teach First-year composition. Look to the professionals with credentials in rhetoric and composition to give you a “clear understanding” of the topic.“As is Mr. Teller?”