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« "If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person" |
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More on what's happened to college English in the last couple of generations. (Link via Instapundit.)
There's also this. (Link via Economic Job Market Rumors.)
And, related, this: "Trend Lit in Higher Ed".
Posted by Craig on 05:45:00 AM in Education
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Playing devil's advocate, I understand it is challenging to get kids motivated about writing, and disguising it as social action or personal events might help.
However, this is college. You'd expect students to a little mature and to require less spoon-feeding. Moreover, to learn to write well, you need to read good books. Recent books are for the most part mediocre. There is a reason why classics are such. A 1984 or a Catcher in the Rye does not come across very often. Why focus on mediocrity when there is gold to be had? If kids cannot handle classics in college, will they ever? Why are they taking a Composition course??
Jack PQ |
September 03, 2013 at 08:46 AM
English composition courses have become a massive fraud. Take a look at the course list for George Washington University's famed writing program:
Expand the descriptions to see the gory details.
September 03, 2013 at 08:56 AM
I found this book a year or so ago. I wish I'd had it 35 years ago when I was in high school. I don't remember any "English" textbook being so clear and concise. Nor so well laid out in the progression. The chapter on note taking alone is worth its weight in gold.
I do confess remembering my 10th grade English teacher prattling on about notes and such. But in my defense, a few of the girls who had blossomed over the summer were wearing their 9th grade sweaters. In 10th grade, learning under hormonal combat conditions is just not a skill you have yet.
Freshman Rhetoric, John Rothwell Slater, Ph.D. Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature in the University of Rochester, (1913)
September 03, 2013 at 12:10 PM
JKB, great find. Thanks.
September 04, 2013 at 09:45 AM
This is a quandary.
On the one hand, I wish all of the studies majors (and related disciplines) to spew their jargon as fully and completely as their professors desire. Why would I want students engaged in intellectual fraud to improve their writing? You shall know them by their argot.
On the other hand, I wish them to be able to write clear and correct sentences, which, perforce, makes it impossible for them to express their incoherent and illogical ideas. This should lead to the total collapse of whole university departments.
September 05, 2013 at 08:38 AM
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