Posted in CBW 2011, What's New in Basic Writing

Mid-Morning Discussion and Questions

Based on our morning’s presentations, we considered these questions:

What could basic writing’s future be?

  • Isn’t it at the core of our mission to have students be successful across the curriculum? That’s one piece of the core, but another core is also to help students become better citizens.
  • How do we work to educate those we work with? For example, how do we help people to understand that basic writing is not about “grammatical exactitude” but is about larger literacies, social justice, etc.?

Are composition and basic writing moving away from one another?

  • Did we create this problem by separating ourselves?
  • Part of it has to do with this shift of moving writing to the 2 year schools
  • How do we work to push basic writing into mainstream journals (CCC and College English)?

What about the scholarship? Where is the scholarship today?

  • Many of us came into teaching based on the work that inspired us: Mike Rose, Andrea Lunsford, etc.
  • We need to be writing the scholarship that inspires.

How do we connect/collaborate with colleagues in literature, creative writing, and other English-related disciplines?

What happens when access routes to higher education get cut off? For example, in California, many fully qualified students will be denied access to higher education based on budget cuts.

Discussion points:

If basic writing is moving to community colleges, we need to make sure that we are publishing.

Basic writing is becoming stratified and pushed into two year schools.

Teaching developmental writing is at the center of many two year college departments’ missions. This is where innovation is happening (Soliday’s “vibrant path of choice” vs. the well-worn institutional paths). How do we share that? How do we use this to fight back?

Also, basic writing in many universities is only “seemingly” disappeared–they are just called something else.

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