blog 4

"Theory, Research, Practice, Work" (ch 1):

Braddock's belief that composition should inherently be research-based and knowledge-making is how I was taught to write, so despite our many discussions on stylistic variations, I tend to agree to a certain degree. I also think that the view of composition being a “classroom activity” still persists.

While reading, I kept thinking that the distinction between theorists and practitioners was an outdated point of view. Every teacher in our department at Kean, I think, is at least moderately active in the field, which means they are all doers, right? However, the more I thought about it, the more I began to think there is a bit of a divide within English departments: literary people and composition people. Is this the modern reincarnation of the theorist/practitioner divide?

“departments become nations” an interesting, and very true, lens.

“reifies social detachment and introversion” a good point. We discussed this a bit in our other class: specifically the idea of crowd sourcing, and how universities tend to frown upon collaboration.

“The rest between composition and literature” it seems I was thinking in the right direction earlier. And that last sentence about Shakespeare/ the minds of 18 year olds was really powerful, I think. And it kind of gets me worked up: the idea that a lit professor, who recycles a worn-out analysis of the same book every semester, is more prestigious than a comp teacher, who constantly has to change and adapt their methodology to cater to their students, is really insulting. Also, I am seeing that I too subscribe to that subconscious rift between comp and lit. As a comp person, I noticed that I have taken a slight offense to being referred to as a mere “working class” member in my own field. Not to say there is anything wrong with a “working class” in the grander scale of society; however, here I am offended because a comp person will do just as much work as a lit person (maybe even more) but according to the chapter, will receive less credit.

Composing Composition Studies Scholarly Publication and the Practice of Discipline” (ch 2)

“in order to demonstrate their apparently equal importance and self-evident interrelationships” enjoyable little bit of sarcasm here.

“faculty can rather efficiently be sorted into categories of “productive” and “unproductive,” with comparatively little or no attention given to teaching” why do I feel this is still true?

“productive work” it is weird to think that some work is unproductive. It’s even weirder to think that in this context “productive” probably means “well-liked” among more prestigious colleagues.

“Given the related assumption that the very purpose of teaching is to disseminate the “findings” of a field’s research to students…professional-client relationship between researcher and teacher” I guess this makes sense. Although the role of researcher and teacher is, I think, more blurred than ever before. It is expected for one person to fulfill these two roles now. But for some reason a teacher cannot disseminate their own findings to their students (who better to do it too?), but rather, teachers are still forced to discuss the findings of others. Which somehow maintains that professional/client relationship, and probably even maintains the “working class” as well. It’s actually really interesting how complex this issue has become even though it hasn’t changed that much.

“English departments were formed, primarily based on a desire to study fiction and poetry in the vernacular” that’s an interesting little fact. And also explains why “English” is stereotypically seen as a literary field despite the emergence of the composition field.

I like that research was a considered a “privilege” when now we see it as a burden.  I wonder how the pioneers of this field, who fought so hard to make the “right” to research so accessible to everyone would feel, knowing people actually dread research projects? (Maybe they too would be annoyed by all the hoops we are required to jump through in order to research.)

political exercise by the institutionally motivated” isn’t everything?

“publishing academics depend on the degraded status of composition “practitioners” to justify their claims to superiority” this is so ironic and dramatic. Now I see why English used to belong to the Theatre department. (It also seems to mirror the way politics work even today.)


“producing text authorized by the university’s class-making system” I’m not sure I agree with this. I think that professors now have more right to conduct their own research and write their own findings than ever before. There are some teachers who even write their own textbooks. Perhaps the restriction mentioned here is the inability to teach their own findings (as I mentioned before)?

blog 4

"Theory, Research, Practice, Work" (ch 1):

Braddock's belief that composition should inherently be research-based and knowledge-making is how I was taught to write, so despite our many discussions on stylistic variations, I tend to agree to a certain degree. I also think that the view of composition being a “classroom activity” still persists.

While reading, I kept thinking that the distinction between theorists and practitioners was an outdated point of view. Every teacher in our department at Kean, I think, is at least moderately active in the field, which means they are all doers, right? However, the more I thought about it, the more I began to think there is a bit of a divide within English departments: literary people and composition people. Is this the modern reincarnation of the theorist/practitioner divide?

“departments become nations” an interesting, and very true, lens.

“reifies social detachment and introversion” a good point. We discussed this a bit in our other class: specifically the idea of crowd sourcing, and how universities tend to frown upon collaboration.

“The rest between composition and literature” it seems I was thinking in the right direction earlier. And that last sentence about Shakespeare/ the minds of 18 year olds was really powerful, I think. And it kind of gets me worked up: the idea that a lit professor, who recycles a worn-out analysis of the same book every semester, is more prestigious than a comp teacher, who constantly has to change and adapt their methodology to cater to their students, is really insulting. Also, I am seeing that I too subscribe to that subconscious rift between comp and lit. As a comp person, I noticed that I have taken a slight offense to being referred to as a mere “working class” member in my own field. Not to say there is anything wrong with a “working class” in the grander scale of society; however, here I am offended because a comp person will do just as much work as a lit person (maybe even more) but according to the chapter, will receive less credit.

Composing Composition Studies Scholarly Publication and the Practice of Discipline” (ch 2)

“in order to demonstrate their apparently equal importance and self-evident interrelationships” enjoyable little bit of sarcasm here.

“faculty can rather efficiently be sorted into categories of “productive” and “unproductive,” with comparatively little or no attention given to teaching” why do I feel this is still true?

“productive work” it is weird to think that some work is unproductive. It’s even weirder to think that in this context “productive” probably means “well-liked” among more prestigious colleagues.

“Given the related assumption that the very purpose of teaching is to disseminate the “findings” of a field’s research to students…professional-client relationship between researcher and teacher” I guess this makes sense. Although the role of researcher and teacher is, I think, more blurred than ever before. It is expected for one person to fulfill these two roles now. But for some reason a teacher cannot disseminate their own findings to their students (who better to do it too?), but rather, teachers are still forced to discuss the findings of others. Which somehow maintains that professional/client relationship, and probably even maintains the “working class” as well. It’s actually really interesting how complex this issue has become even though it hasn’t changed that much.

“English departments were formed, primarily based on a desire to study fiction and poetry in the vernacular” that’s an interesting little fact. And also explains why “English” is stereotypically seen as a literary field despite the emergence of the composition field.

I like that research was a considered a “privilege” when now we see it as a burden.  I wonder how the pioneers of this field, who fought so hard to make the “right” to research so accessible to everyone would feel, knowing people actually dread research projects? (Maybe they too would be annoyed by all the hoops we are required to jump through in order to research.)

political exercise by the institutionally motivated” isn’t everything?

“publishing academics depend on the degraded status of composition “practitioners” to justify their claims to superiority” this is so ironic and dramatic. Now I see why English used to belong to the Theatre department. (It also seems to mirror the way politics work even today.)


“producing text authorized by the university’s class-making system” I’m not sure I agree with this. I think that professors now have more right to conduct their own research and write their own findings than ever before. There are some teachers who even write their own textbooks. Perhaps the restriction mentioned here is the inability to teach their own findings (as I mentioned before)?

Farris and Anson’s Chapters 1 & 2: Ferry and Vandenberg

     I've always had a relatively good sense of self-worth. My self-esteem is pretty good and I feel like I'm at a point in my life where I'm comfortable with who I am. Then I read this week's readings. I thought Chris Christie had done a good job of bad mouthing teachers, turns out he doesn't have anything on what we can say about each other.

     Maybe it's how I read the chapters, but it came off really snooty (I don't think I've ever written that word before). It's like when you watch With Honors or Good Will Hunting and the professors are so high on themselves and their brains, there can be no equal. The word hierarchy was used often in the reading and that idea overshadows what I always thought we were in school for- knowledge.

     I admire anyone who has knowledge of something I don't. I have no problem asking for an explanation from someone, anyone, who might know what I need to know. That's why I think the classroom should be respected, not looked down on by scholars. Without lowly teachers, where would we get the eventual scholars? Are they all self-made? And what would be the point of a university then?

     Ferry states that practitioner knowledge is referred to as "lore".  Why not "data"? Why not "evidence"? Lore makes it sound like mythology. Maybe we should stop using the term "theory" and start calling it "suspicion" or "guess"?

     Of course, I write all of this with a bit of anger at being looked down upon, but I'm guilty of the same thing. I look at my school and I have a hierarchy formed in my mind. At the top are the brass, obviously. Even though many of them aren't leadership material, their positions require that. A colleague was sitting for the Praxis for administration and supervision this past week and he was quite nervous. The only advice I had for him was to look at some of the people in our administration and know peace.

     A group of workers that I place high on the hierarchy is the maintenance staff, security, and technical support. I had an undergraduate professor who told us to keep them in mind because they "do all the dirty work". I always do my best to make their job easier- push in all the chairs, throw out all the garbage, keep classroom management tight so that security doesn't get tired of coming to my room for every little thing. Some teachers will call security over the smallest thing. A student keeps putting his head down? Call security. It's laughable and those teachers are not respected by their support staff.

     I would then put all the teachers at the lowest level. Maybe that makes me as bad as what I was railing against before. I don't think of the profession as lowly as the chapters did, but someone has to be on the bottom, it doesn't mean we're garbage.

     The bottom belongs to the gym teachers. Out of sheer jealousy, all other teachers despise them. I've thought about the amount of grading and work I'll do by the time I retire, and compare it to the grading and work a gym teacher will do over the same time span. It's enough to make you cry.
   

Farris and Anson’s Chapters 1 & 2: Ferry and Vandenberg

     I've always had a relatively good sense of self-worth. My self-esteem is pretty good and I feel like I'm at a point in my life where I'm comfortable with who I am. Then I read this week's readings. I thought Chris Christie had done a good job of bad mouthing teachers, turns out he doesn't have anything on what we can say about each other.

     Maybe it's how I read the chapters, but it came off really snooty (I don't think I've ever written that word before). It's like when you watch With Honors or Good Will Hunting and the professors are so high on themselves and their brains, there can be no equal. The word hierarchy was used often in the reading and that idea overshadows what I always thought we were in school for- knowledge.

     I admire anyone who has knowledge of something I don't. I have no problem asking for an explanation from someone, anyone, who might know what I need to know. That's why I think the classroom should be respected, not looked down on by scholars. Without lowly teachers, where would we get the eventual scholars? Are they all self-made? And what would be the point of a university then?

     Ferry states that practitioner knowledge is referred to as "lore".  Why not "data"? Why not "evidence"? Lore makes it sound like mythology. Maybe we should stop using the term "theory" and start calling it "suspicion" or "guess"?

     Of course, I write all of this with a bit of anger at being looked down upon, but I'm guilty of the same thing. I look at my school and I have a hierarchy formed in my mind. At the top are the brass, obviously. Even though many of them aren't leadership material, their positions require that. A colleague was sitting for the Praxis for administration and supervision this past week and he was quite nervous. The only advice I had for him was to look at some of the people in our administration and know peace.

     A group of workers that I place high on the hierarchy is the maintenance staff, security, and technical support. I had an undergraduate professor who told us to keep them in mind because they "do all the dirty work". I always do my best to make their job easier- push in all the chairs, throw out all the garbage, keep classroom management tight so that security doesn't get tired of coming to my room for every little thing. Some teachers will call security over the smallest thing. A student keeps putting his head down? Call security. It's laughable and those teachers are not respected by their support staff.

     I would then put all the teachers at the lowest level. Maybe that makes me as bad as what I was railing against before. I don't think of the profession as lowly as the chapters did, but someone has to be on the bottom, it doesn't mean we're garbage.

     The bottom belongs to the gym teachers. Out of sheer jealousy, all other teachers despise them. I've thought about the amount of grading and work I'll do by the time I retire, and compare it to the grading and work a gym teacher will do over the same time span. It's enough to make you cry.