Civic ends for academic discourseShow full item record
|Civic ends for academic discourse
|Schick, Kurt Edward
|Doctor of Philosophy
|Contemporary composition pedagogies have generally rejected current-traditional rhetoric's overemphasis on the conformative conventions of academic writing. Instead of focusing on formalities and formulaic conventions as ends , progressive, ¿post-formal¿ pedagogies have advocated teaching the processes of invention, expression, and criticism as means of achieving individual agency. However, teaching process-not-product leaves us no better than teaching product-not-process; both approaches are rhetorically incomplete, thus placing writing process and written product, writer and audience, and freedom and authority in apparent opposition. This dissertation bridges these apparent binaries by employing John Dewey's philosophy to reconstruct how we might define and teach academic discourse in the typical Introductory Composition course. Specifically, I employ democratic ideals as criteria for reformulating viable means of explicating and advocating meaningful rhetorical functions of ¿civic-academic style.¿ Applying democratic idealism to the problem of evaluation helps to reconsider evaluation as ¿valuation¿: a pedagogical technique for enhancing student learning while simultaneously refining what we mean by ¿good¿ academic writing. Valuation functions as epideictic or symbolic rhetoric by reinforcing democratic ideals through the practice of civic-academic style. Finally, I describe and analyze my attempts to teach civic-academic style in my own Introductory Composition classes. Specifically, I examine the relationship between discourse conventions as content and as pedagogy, present strategies for enabling students to participate in revising course assignments and evaluation criteria, and then conclude with a final discussion of valuation as a mode of inquiry for citizen-scholars within a democracy.
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- Doctoral Dissertations