Saturday, April 16, 2005

consumer/producer and re/production (texts)

Many composition scholars (and others in education, cultural studies, etc.) have argued for the goal of changing students from passive consumers to active participants in the writing classroom (and their educational process as a whole). "They" have made it sound as though, if we remove students from their role as consumer, we have somehow found "the answer" (to a more informed, thoughtful citizenry; a more decentered, and therefore, less "corporate" or capitalistic classroom). Some, Alan France, among them, have argued that student texts need to become "something" more tangible, more purposeful than simply a grade in the gradebook. He argues for the publication of students texts. And yet, taking them out of that consumer role (which ultimately is actually impossible--they *are* paying for these classes; we are being paid to teach them) and "empowering" them or "centering" them, is only to put them in a new role within the University setting--that of the worker (which they also were always already--it's just a matter of emphasis). So for me, this is not simply a question of consumer or producer, it is a question of re/production.

No comments: