Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Topic: Teachers and Composition

Question: Are teachers prepared to teach composition? Do teachers frequently assign longer compositions?

Answer: “Found that teachers are not adequately prepared to teach composition and that the frequency of assignments declines with assignment length.” SB Bohn. 1983. 418.

Comment: Since the focus of most English major programs is on literature, I am not surprised that teachers at the secondary level do not perceive themselves as adequately prepared to teach composition.

In the elementary grades, teachers are not prepared to teach reading or writing adequately. Not enough time. That’s why basals are so important. They help teachers learn to teach reading systematically. The newer basals, I am assuming, with a greater focus on “whole language,” are doing a better job of showing teachers how to teach writing as well.

Since most lengthy compositions (research papers) require extensive preparation by students, I’m not surprised that the number of assignments declines. However, I have seen some research that has shown the advisability for more frequent lengthy compositions of all types. RayS.

Title: “Annotated Bibliography of Research in the Teaching of English.” RK Durst and JD Marshall. Research in the Teaching of English (December 1984), 417-438.

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