Show and Tell for Parents
Search Site: 
Parents Teachers
By Susan Darst Williams
Parental Involvement
Ages & Stages
Coaching Your Child
Discipline & Safety
Health, Nutrition & Fitness
Homework Helpers
Reading
Writing
Math
Curriculum & Instruction
Teachers & Teaching
Other School Staff
Testing
Technology
Special Learners
School Management
Finance & Taxation
Government & Politics
Preschool
Private Schools
Homeschooling
Choice & Charters
Learning on the Go
Community Involvement
Controversies
Education Heroes
Bright Ideas for Change
Site Map
Mini-Grants

Parental Involvement Lite

Parents, Kids & Books

Great Books for Kids

Character Education

Writing Tips

Inspiration

Wacky Protests

School Humor
Home | Purpose | Ask A Question | Subscribe | Forward | Bio | Contact | Print

Grammar Granny        < Previous        Next >

 

How Writing Instruction Fads

Shortchange Students

 

Here's an interview with a retired college composition teacher from North Carolina with some good insights as to why students can't write very well any more.

 

She calls a lot of what goes on in English classes "moonshine" because too many professors are more in to making a name for themselves and building prestige than actually teaching students how to write. They skimp on the basics such as writing instruction, even though that's what the students need and it's what their parents are paying for.

She says the "fad of the week" mentality pervades English instruction, and that's why tried-and-true writing skills - spelling tests, punctuation, sentence diagramming, copyediting, parts of speech exercises - all fall by the wayside.

 

English teachers accept substandard English as a political statement, ignoring the fact that a lack of writing skill makes a young person unemployable in many occupations.

 

Because so many teachers are in to "child-centered learning," they let students grade each others' papers and work in groups to produce one piece of writing, which by definition means that a lot of mistakes are getting passed by and students aren't getting anywhere near enough practice and correction.

 

And, attempting to seem "with it," many teachers allow shallow, barely understandable pieces of writing from students who are a lot more familiar with Google, iPod, text messenging, Facebook and Instant Messenger than they are with a paper and pencil.

 

The professor, Nan Miller, wrote an article called "English 101: Prologue to Literacy or Postmodern Moonshine?" published in the Carolina Journal.

 

http://www.carolinajournal.com/exclusives/display_exclusive.html?id=3582

 

 

By Susan Darst Williams www.GoBigEd.com Grammar Granny 036 2006

 

Grammar Granny        < Previous        Next >
^ return to top ^
Individuals: read and share these features freely!

Publications: please contact ShowandTellforParents.com to arrange for reprint rights to these copyrighted news stories and features.

Mini-Grants


 Links to Learn More 

 Enrichment Ideas 

 Nebraska Schooling 
DailySusan
 Humor Blog 
DailySusan
 Glimpses of God 
Copyright © 2017 ShowandTellforParents.com
Website created by Web Solutions Omaha