Saturday, October 6, 2007

writing and self-development

In the book "Self-Development and College Writing" (pp. 55-59), Nick Tingle writes about a craft-oriented approach to writing, in which the author is distinct from--separates self from--the text.  However, professors teaching from that perspective (and I would suggest that most legal writing professors encourage such separation) deny their students' reality:  that "writing becomes self-exploration as an attempt . . . to find his or her relationship to this new [academic] environment."

He goes on:  "Student self-explore because they are asked to experience the act of writing in a different way."  (Our 1-L's exactly!)  As they learn about themselves and their beliefs in the act of writing, they also seek understanding through that written expression, only to get professorial comments about thesis development or lack of authority.  This lack of acknowledgement of students' developmental growth may result in a "wounding [that] may account, in part at least, for the emotionality that instructors who employ a craft orientation may experience."

hat tip:  Natalie Tarenko, Texas Tech University School of Law


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