Thursday, March 03, 2005
student texts and Bartholomae's prompts
Composition studies/theory tends to focus on the way that skills-based courses are complicit in capitalism and has tended to view social constructionist folks as somehow outside of that or probing it in some analytical way. But the question still remains--Why Foucault? Why Freire? Why do we prompt them to think like a teacher? (By this I’m referencing Bartholomae’s Ways of Reading and its prompts/assignments that have students “pretend you’re Foucault”; “think like a teacher.”) Also, wrapped up in this is simply the fact that a textbook with Foucault and Freire sells. Another part of this is the fact that while situating the student writer in the context of a long line of other thinkers/writers (as opposed to the autonomous creative individual of the expressivists), we have maintained student text production as “useless” nothing more than an assignment to get a grade. It doesn’t operate in the world the way a text by Foucault does.